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Pharmacogn Mag. 2017 Oct;13(Suppl 3):S539-S543. doi: 10.4103/pm.pm_468_16. Epub 2017 Oct 11.

The Effect of Polyherbal Medicines Used for the Treatment of Tuberculosis on Other Opportunistic Organisms of Humans Infected with Tuberculosis.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenecity and Molecular Epidemiology Research Group, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa.
Department of Botany, Medicinal Plants and Economic Development Research Center, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa.



In many immunocompromised patients, opportunistic bacterial and fungal infections are common. Polyherbal medicines examined in this study are used by the indigenous people of South Africa for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and other opportunistic infections associated with TB.


To evaluate the antibacterial and antifungal activity of nine polyherbal remedies against four Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria respectively and three fungi.

Materials and Methods:

Agar dilution method was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the remedies against the organisms.


The inhibitory activity of the polyherbal medicines based on the overall MIC revealed that HBfs and FB remedies were the most active remedies against the bacterial isolates at the concentration of 2.5 mg/mL, followed by HBts remedy at 5.0 mg/mL. However, the MIC valves of KWTa, KWTb, KWTc, HBss, EL and AL remedies were higher than 5.0 mg/mL which was the highest concentration used. Only KWTa remedy showed activity against Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus with the MIC value of 2.5 mg/mL. While KWTc and HBts had the highest activity at 1.25 mg/mL against Candida albicans, the remaining remedies were active at 2.5 mg/mL.


This study revealed that some of these polyherbal formulations have activities against some of the opportunistic bacterial and fungal isolates associated with TB patients. The capability of these remedies to inhibit the organisms is an indication that they are a potential broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. However, the remedies that are inactive might contain stimulant effects on the immune system.


In the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, no study has been reported on the effect of polyherbal remedies used for the treatment of TB on the opportunistic pathogen. This study therefore revealed that some of the polyherbal medicines possess activity against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Abbreviations used: TB: Tuberculosis; MIC: Minimum Inhibitory Concentration; CFU/ML: Colony Forming Unit Per Mill.


Antibacterial; antifungal; polyherbal medicines; tuberculosis

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