Toothbrush has become a potential source of infection, owing to contamination by various pathogens as a result of poor oral hygiene awareness and practices. This study investigated the antibacterial activities of ethyl acetate and methanol leaf-extracts of Psidium guajava (guava) and Carica papaya (paw-paw) on bacteria pathogens isolated from toothbrushes. A total of 100 manual used toothbrushes of different brands were collected from patients attending Federal School of Dental Therapy, Enugu Dental Clinic and analyzed for bacterial growth. In vitro antibacterial study of Carica papaya and P. guajava leaf extracts was conducted using Kirby-Bauer agar well diffusion technique. Staphylococcus aureus 76 (69.1%), Escherichia coli 23 (20.9%), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa 11(10%) were isolated from toothbrushes using standard microbiological techniques. Results showed that ethyl acetate extract of P. guajava had inhibition zone diameter (IZD) ranging from 9 to 29 mm against bacterial isolates, while its methanol extract had IZD of 8 to 26 mm. Ethyl acetate extract of C. papaya had IZD of 5 - 21 mm, while its methanol extract had IZD of 5 to 10 mm. The minimum inhibitory concentration of the extracts was 50 mg/ml, while minimum bactericidal concentration was 100 mg/ml for all the isolates. The bacterial contamination frequency of manual toothbrushes recorded in this study was high and this calls for urgent public health attention.
Key words: Psidium guajava, Carica papaya, antibacterial activity, extracts, toothbrush.
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