The antimicrobial and antihelminthic activities of the ethanolic extracts of Allium sativum, Allium cepa, Lantana camara, Averrhoa carambola and Syzygium aromaticum were investigated. The ethanolic extracts were screened against three urinary tract pathogensPseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 10145) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 11775); Candida albicans and two gastrointestinal isolates (clinical samples); Salmonella typhi and Proteus mirabilis, using the agar diffusion technique at 100, 50, 25, 12.5 and 62.5 mg/ml concentrations. The bioassay was carried out on 70 local earthworms (Pheretimaposthuma): 10 live worms in 20 mg/ml of each ethanolic extract; 20 mg/ml of piperazine and 20 mg/ml of 5% dimethylformamide (DMF). A. sativum and A. cepa showed high activity on all isolates (P < 0.05), with inhibition zone diameter (IZD) at 50 mg/ml concentration ranging from 19.5 ± 0.00 to 23.0 ± 0.00 mm; and 16.5 ± 0.25 to 22.5 ± 0.20 for A. sativum and A. cepa; minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), 0.48 to 1.0 mg/ml for both bacterial and fungal pathogens. Antihelminthic activity of the extracts (P < 0.05) was in the order: A. sativum > A. cepa S. aromaticum > L. camara > A. carambola. The study established their use in the management of gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections which is consistent with their use in folk-medicine.
Key words: Antimicrobial, antihelminthic, minimal inhibitory concentration, ethnomedicine, gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections.
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