GC-MS headspace analysis of Terminalia ferdinandiana fruit and leaf extracts which inhibit Bacillus anthracis growth
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Background: Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu plum) is an endemic Australian plant with an extremely high antioxidant capacity. The fruit has long been used by the first Australians as a nutritional food and as a medicine and recent studies have reported its potent growth inhibitory activity against a broad panel of bacteria. Despite this, T. ferdinandiana extracts are yet to be tested for the ability to inhibit the growth of Bacillus anthracis. Materials and Methods: Solvent extracts were prepared using both the fruit and leaf of Kakadu plum. The ability to inhibit the growth of B. anthracis was investigated using a disc diffusion assay. Their MIC values were determined to quantify and compare their efficacies. Toxicity was determined using the Artemia franciscana nauplii bioassay. The most potent extracts were investigated using non-targeted GC-MS head space analysis (with screening against a compound database) for the identification and characterisation of individual components in the crude plant extracts. Results: Solvent extractions of T. ferdinandiana fruit and leaf displayed good growth inhibitory activity in the disc diffusion assay against B. anthracis. Fruit ethyl acetate and methanolic leaf extracts were particularly potent growth inhibitors, with MIC values of 451 and 377μg/mL respectively. The fruit methanolic and chloroform extracts, as well as the aqueous leaf extracts also were good inhibitors of B. anthracis growth, albeit with lower efficacy (MIC values of 1800 and 1414 μg/mL respectively).The aqueous fruit extract and leaf chloroform extracts had only low inhibitory activity. All other extracts were completely devoid of growth inhibitory activity. Furthermore, all of the extracts with growth inhibitory activity were nontoxic in the Artemia fransiscana bioassay, with LC50 values >1000 μg/mL. Non-biased GC-MS phytochemical analysis of the most active extracts (fruit ethyl acetate and methanolic leaf) putatively identified and highlighted several compounds that may contribute to the ability of these extracts to inhibit the growth of B. anthracis. Conclusions: The low toxicity of the T. ferdinandiana fruit ethyl acetate and methanolic leaf extracts, as well as their potent growth inhibitory bioactivity against B. anthracis, indicates their potential as medicinal agents in the treatment and prevention of anthrax.
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Plant Biology not elsewhere classified