Pteris multifida is an effective Chinese herb for treating dysentery caused by Escherichia coli. It might be a good veterinary antibiotic alternative. In this study, we optimized the extraction condition based on the antibacterial activity of crude extracts from P. multifida, tracked its antibacterial components, and investigated their antibacterial activity, as well as its antibacterial mechanism. The results revealed that the crude extracts from P. multifida displayed the highest antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli when P. multifida was extracted with 70% ethanol whose ratio to P. multifida powder was 30:1 (V/W), followed by reflux extraction three times at 50°C (0.5 h each time). The major antibacterial components might be alkaloids, flavonoids, organic acid, anthraquinones, and cardiac glycosides which were enriched in n-butyl alcohol extracts. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of n-butyl alcohol extracts against Escherichia coli were 12.5 and 50 mg/ml, and the antibacterial mechanism might be the damage of bacteria cell membrane, leading to electrolyte exosmosis and in turn bacteria cell death.
Key words: Pteris multifida, antibacterial activity, Escherichia coli, antibacterial mechanism.
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