Prevalence, pathogenesis, antibiotic susceptibility profiles, and in-vitro activity of selected medicinal plants against Aeromonas isolates from stool samples of patients in the Venda Region of South Africa

C. L. Obi*, J. Ramalivhana, A. Samie, E. O. Igumbor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The prevalence, pathogenic indices, such as haemolytic and haemagglutinating activities, antibiograms, and in-vitro activities of local medicinal plants against Aeromonas isolates in Vhembe district of Limpopo province, South Africa, were studied using standard microbiological methods. In total, 309 diarrhoeic stool samples were collected from patients attending five health centres in the region during December 2004-May 2005. Aeromonas species were identified using the API 20E system. The haemagglutinating and haemolytic activities of isolates on human, sheep, pig and chicken red blood cells were investigated. Antibiotic susceptibility profiles of the isolates to several antibiotics and in-vitro activity of local medicinal plants were also ascertained using previously-reported schemes. Results showed that 104 (33.6%) of the 309 samples were positive for Aeromonas species, of which 89 (85.6%) were Aeromonas hydrophila, 12 (11.5%) A. sobria, and three (2.9%) A. caviae. All strains of A. hydrophila and A. caviae produced haemolysis on sheep blood, while eight of the 12 A. sobria strains were haemolytic on sheep blood. The haemolytic activities of the isolates were variable on other red blood cells tested. High level of resistance was observed to amoxicillin and ampicillin, followed by cefuroxime (79%), chloramphenicol (74%), and erythromycin (65%). The carbapenems were the most active drugs with only 7% resistance to meropenem and 11% to imipenem. About 12% of the isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin. The extracts of three of seven medicinal plants tested showed inhibitory activity against all Aeromonas isolates; these included acetone and hexane extracts of Pterocarpus angolensis, Syzygium cordatum, and Zornia milneana. The results suggest a high prevalence of Aeromonas species in the region. The isolates demonstrated multiple resistant profiles to different antibiotics tested. Some local medicinal plants were inhibitory to Aeromonas isolates, indicating a potential role in the management of Aeromonas-related infections. Structural elucidation of the active components may pave the way for the discovery of candidate templates for eventual drug design. Most isolates possessed important virulence characteristics based on their haemolytic and haemagglutinating ability. However, the genetic characterization of the isolates will further confirm their pathogenicity and the origin of multiple antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Volume25
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aeromonas
  • Aeromonas hydrophila
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Antibiotics
  • Microbial sensitivity tests
  • Plants, medicinal
  • South Africa

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