Lindy Mpala1, Getmore Chikowe2, Ian Edwin Cock1,2,*
1School of Environment and Science, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
2Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Introduction: The development of bacterial strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics has made the development of new antibiotics a priority for medical research. Traditional plant medicines are important leads for the discovery of new medicines. The family Agavaceae is widely used therapeutically in many areas of the world. Despite this, many members of this family are yet to be examined extensively for therapeutic properties. The species Cordyline rubra Otto and A. Dietr. was screened for antibacterial activity in this study. Methods: The ability of C. rubra leaf and fruit extracts to inhibit the growth of a panel of bacterial pathogens was investigated by disc diffusion assay. Toxicity was examined using the Artemia franciscana nauplii bioassay. Results: Methanolic C. rubra leaf and fruit extracts were completely ineffective at inhibiting the growth of gram-positive and gramnegative panels of bacteria. The extracts were also non-toxic or of low toxicity following 24 h exposure. Conclusion: C. rubra leaf and fruit extracts were completely ineffective bacterial growth inhibitors. However, these extracts may have other therapeutic properties and testing against protozoa, fungi, virus and tumour cells is required.