Sky Journal of Microbiology Research Vol. 5(2), pp. 018-026, March, 2017. Available online,
ISSN 2315-876X ©2017 Sky Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Antioxidant and antibacterial activity of leaves and stem extracts of Bridelia cathartica Bertol

Paulo Cumbane1,2 and François Munyemana1*


1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Eduardo Mondlane University, Av. Julius Nyerere Nr 3453, P. O. Box 257, Maputo, Mozambique.
2Higher Institute of Science and Technology of Mozambique (ISCTEM), School of Health, Pharmacy Course, Rua 1394-Zona da FACIM, 322-Maputo, Mozambique.

*Corresponding author. E-mail:  or Tel.:+258823175440.


Accepted 8 April, 2017



The Bridelia cathartica Bertol (Euphorbiaceae) species is used in Mozambican folk medicine for the treatment of various ailments including infectious and inflammatory diseases, but scientific investigations aiming to determine its therapeutic potential are scarce. In the present study, the total phenolics, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of the crude hydroethanolic extracts and ethyl acetate fractions of the leaves and stem of B. cathartica were determined using standard procedures. The phenolics found did not show significant variations in the different analyzed samples (p < 0.05) and showed maximum values of 435.090 ± 15.507 and 436.970 ± 15.310 milligrams of gallic acid equivalents (mgGAE) per gram of the dry extract for the samples of stem and leaves respectively. The highest antioxidant activity was exhibited by the leaves sample in the DPPH method (EC50 = 3.63 ± 0.12 μg/mL) and phospho-molybdenum complex method (57.88 ± 0.57%). Most of the extracts and fractions from leaves and stem exhibited remarkable antibacterial activity with predominance of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values between 250 - 500 μg/mL. The results found in this study reveal high levels of phenolic compounds as well as a potent antioxidant effect and considerable antibacterial activity, which may justify the use of this plant in traditional medicine for the treatment of various infectious and inflammatory diseases.


Key words: Total phenolics, antibacterial, DPPH, Bridelia cathartica, extracts antioxidant.


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