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Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(4):4255-67. doi: 10.3390/ijms13044255. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Pharmacological assessment of the medicinal potential of Acacia mearnsii De Wild.: antimicrobial and toxicity activities.

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Phytomedicine Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa; E-Mail:


Acacia mearnsii De Wild. (Fabaceae) is a medicinal plant used in the treatment of microbial infections in South Africa without scientific validation of its bioactivity and toxicity. The antimicrobial activity of the crude acetone extract was evaluated by both agar diffusion and macrobroth dilution methods while its cytotoxicity effect was assessed with brine shrimp lethality assay. The study showed that both bacterial and fungal isolates were highly inhibited by the crude extract. The MIC values for the gram-positive bacteria (78.1-312.5) μg/mL, gram-negative bacteria (39.1-625) μg/mL and fungal isolates (625-5000) μg/mL differ significantly. The bacteria were more susceptible than the fungal strains tested. The antibiosis determination showed that the extract was more (75%) bactericidal than bacteriostatic (25%) and more fungicidal (66.67%) than fungistatic (33.33%). The cytotoxic activity of the extract was observed between 31.25 μg/mL and 500 μg/mL and the LC(50) value (112.36 μg/mL) indicates that the extract was nontoxic in the brine shrimp lethality assay (LC(50) > 100 μg/mL). These results support the use of A. mearnsii in traditional medicine for treatment of microbial infections. The extract exhibiting significant broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and nontoxic effects has potential to yield active antimicrobial compounds.


Acacia mearnsii; antimicrobial activity; bactericidal; cytotoxic effects; extract

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