1. Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Lahore, Pakistan. Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords: Antibacterial; Antifungal; Activity; Methanolic; Extract; Clinical isolates; Disk diffusion; Zone of inhibition

The aim of the study was to determine the antibacterial and antifungal activities of the methanolic extract of Conocarpus lancifolius Engl. aerial parts using disk diffusion method. The bacteria tested included Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus, Proteus mirabilis and Klebsella pneumonia whereas the fungal strains tested included Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisae. Antibacterial activity was found to be present in four species being highest in K. pneumonia (11mm). Zones of inhibition for B. cereus, E. coli and P. aeruginosa were 9, 8 and 8 respectively. Antifungal activity was found only in S. cerevisae where the zone was recorded to be 7mm. Results show plants to possess antibacterial and antifungal activities.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:
First Page:132
Last Page:134
Publisher Id:19204159.6:3.2014
Article History:
Received:March 15, 2014
Accepted:March 22, 2014
Collection year:2014
First Published:April 1, 2014


Natural products play an important role in the treatment of different diseases. The history of use of plants for different conditions is very old. The earliest records found show that plants have been used in Mesopotamia and Egypt thousands of years ago. Numerous phytochemicals have been isolated from different plants which are now being prescribed by medical practitioners all around the world [1].

Conocarpus lancifolius belongs to the family Combretaceae. It is extensively grown in Kuwait and some other Arab countries due to its ability to grow in extreme environments. The plant exists in the form of tree which can grow several meters in height [2]. Previously, the plant has been studied only for Anti-plasmodial, Anti-leishmanial and Anti-trypanosomal Activities [3]. The aim of the present work is to report the antimicrobial activity of the plant for the first time.


Plant material

The aerial parts of Conocarpus lancifolius were collected during the winter season from Pattoki, Pakistan. The plant material was identified by Dr. Ajaib Choudhary, Department of Botany, Government College University Lahore. The voucher number received for the plant was GC.Bot.Herb. 2205.

Preparation of extract

The plant material was shade dried and ground into coarse powder. It was extracted by cold maceration twice using methanol. The extract obtained was dried using rotary evaporator and stored in air tight container in a refrigerator until further use.



Culture media were purchased from Himedia, India. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was purchased from Sigma Aldrich, USA. Methanol was obtained from Panreac, Spain.

Microorganisms tested

The clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus, Proteus mirabilis and Klebsella pneumonia were used for the antibacterial assay whereas the clinical isolates of Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans and saccharomyces cerevisae were used for carrying out the antifungal assay. All the microbial strains were supplied by Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Lahore.

Antimicrobial assays

Antibacterial activity of methanolic extract was determined using disk diffusion method of Mbata et al, [4] with some minor modifications. Stock solution was prepared by dissolving 20 mg of the extract in sufficient amount of DMSO to make the final volume equal to 1 ml. 20 µl of this stock solution was impregnated to sterile paper disks (6 mm diameter) and dried. Mueller-Hinton Agar (MHA) media was prepared and solidified in sterile Petri dishes. The surface of the agar in each plate was swabbed with a different bacterial strain cultured in nutrient broth. The extract loaded disks were then placed on the surface of the swabbed agar media and the diameter of the zone of inhibition was measured after 24 h of incubation at 37 oC.

Antifungal activity was evaluated by a method quite similar to the one used to determine the antibacterial activity [5]. Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) media was used instead of Mueller-Hinton Agar media and a fungal suspension prepared in normal saline was used for swabbing the surface of the solidified agar media. The diameters of zone of inhibition were calculated after incubation at room temperature for 24h.


The results of antibacterial activity are given in table 1. The methanolic extract of C. lancifolius was tested against 6 bacterial strains. Against any microbial specie, the activity of the extract was considered to be present if the diameter of the zone of inhibition was equal to or greater than 7 mm. The antibacterial activity was found to be highest for K. pneumonia where the zone of inhibition was recorded to be 11mm. The clinical isolate of B. cereus was also found to be sensitive against the extract showing a zone of 9mm. Low activity (8mm) was found in case of E. coli and P. aeruginosa whereas no activity was found against S. aureus and P. mirabilis. Results show the presence of antibacterial activity in the plant thus indicating plant to be of medicinal value.

Antifungal activity of the methanolic extract was also studied. The results from the assay showed the presence of low antifungal activity in the plant extract. The only fungal specie which showed sensitivity towards the extract was S. cerevisae. A zone of inhibition of 7mm was recorded for this strain (see table 2). Standard drugs were also tested against the microbial strains and their results have also been tabulated (see table 1 and 2).

Table 1: Antibacterial activity of methanolic extract of C. lancifolius on various clinical strains.
CME, Conocarpus lancifolius methanolic extract; Standard drug, Chloramphenicol 30µg disk.

Table 2: Antifungal activity of methanolic extract of C. lancifolius on various clinical strains.

CME, Conocarpus lancifolius methanolic extract; Standard drug, Amphotericin B 10µg disk.


The increasing resistance of pathogenic microbes against various marketed drugs is highly problematic and increases the need for the discovery of new antimicrobials. The present study was aimed to investigate the antimicrobial potential of a plant species known as Conocarpus lancifolius. From the results obtained, it may be concluded that the plant possess moderate antibacterial activity and low antifungal activity.  Further studies on standard microbial strains may be expected to give more fruitful results.


1.       Newman DJ., Cragg GM., and Snader KM. (2000). The influence of natural products upon drug discovery. Natural product reports, 17(3), 215-234.

2.       Redha A., Al-Mansour N., Suleman P., Afzal M., and Al-Hasan R. (2011). Leaf Traits and Histochemistry of Trichomes of Conocarpus lancifolius a Combretaceae in Semi-Arid Conditions. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2, 165-174.

3.       Al-Musayeib NM., Mothana RA., Al-Massarani S., Matheeussen A., Cos P., and Maes L. (2012). Study of the in Vitro Antiplasmodial, Antileishmanial and Antitrypanosomal Activities of Medicinal Plants from Saudi Arabia. Molecules, 17(10), 11379-11390.

4.       Mbata TI., Debiao LU., and Saikia A. (2008). Antibacterial activity of the crude extract of Chinese green tea (Camellia sinensis) on Listeria monocytogenes. African journal of Biotechnology, 7(10), 1571-1573.

Saratha V and Subramanian SP. (2010). Evaluation of antifungal activity of Calotropis Gigantea latex extract: An in vitro study. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 1(9), 88-96.

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Welcome to the research group of Prof. Dr. Cornelia M. Keck in Marburg. Cornelia M. Keck is a pharmacist and obtained her PhD in 2006 from the Freie Universität (FU) in Berlin. In 2009 she was appointed as Adjunct Professor for Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Nanotechnology at the University Putra Malaysia (UPM) and in 2011 she obtained her Venia legendi (Habilitation) at the Freie Universität Berlin and was appointed as a Professor for Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern. Since 2016 she is Professor of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics at the Philipps-Universität Marburg. Her field of research is the development and characterization of innovative nanocarriers for improved delivery of poorly soluble actives for healthcare and cosmetics. Prof. Keck is executive board member of the German Association of Nanotechnology (Deutscher Verband Nanotechnologie), Vize-chairman of the unit „Dermocosmetics“ at the German Society of Dermopharmacy, active member in many pharmaceutical societies and member of the BfR Committee for Cosmetics at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

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