Canadian Forest Service Publications
Antimicrobial activity of natural products from the flora of Northern Ontario, Canada. 2015. Vandal, J.; Abou-Zaid, M.M.; Ferroni, G.; Leduc, L.G. Pharmaceutical Biology 7p.
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 35928
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Context: The number of multidrug resistant (MDR) microorganisms is increasing and the antimicrobial resistance expressed by these pathogens is generating a rising global health crisis. In fact, there are only a few antimicrobial agents left that can be used against MDR bacteria and fungi.
Objective: In this study, the antimicrobial activities of selected natural products from the flora of Northern Ontario against selected microorganisms are reported.
Materials and methods: Plants were collected from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, and ethanol extracts were prepared using EtOH:H2O (1:1, v/v). Fungal cultures used in this study were Candida albicans ATCC 10231 and Schizosaccharomyces octosporus. Bacterial cultures employed included Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Mycobacterium phlei ATCC 11758, and Streptococcus lactis ATCC 19435. The microplate resazurin assay was used to screen for antimicrobial activity.
Results: Extracts of four plant species Chimaphila umbellata L. (Pyrolaceae), Betula papyrifera Marshall (Betulaceae), Rhus typhina L. (Anacardiaceae), and Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall (Oleaceae), and six compounds (gallic acid, ethyl gallate, caffeic acid, sinapic acid, gentisic acid, and chlorogenic acid) demonstrated antibacterial or antifungal activities with MICs ranging from 62.5 to 1000 µg/mL, respectively, for a chemical fraction of an extract from Betula papyrifera against the bacterium S. aureus.
Discussion and conclusion: The present study has shown that certain plant extracts and select fractions and standard chemical compounds exhibit antimicrobial effects. Prince’s Pine, Chimaphila umbellate, White Birch, Betula papyrifera, Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina, and Green Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica were the principal extracts exhibiting notable antibacterial and/or antifungal activities; while gallic acid, ethyl gallate, and caffeic acid demonstrated antibacterial activities and sinapic acid, gentisic acid, and chlorogenic acid demonstrated antifungal activities.
Plain Language Summary
The province of Ontario contains approximately 2% of the world’s forests (Natural Resources Canada, 2011). The Northern Ontario flora, which is mostly constituted by the Great Lakes Forest, the Boreal Forest and the Hudson Bay Lowlands, provides a great number of vegetative species. Its geographic region lies north of Lake Huron, the French River, Lake Nipissing and the Mattawa River. This area is mostly dominated by hardwoods, conifers, deciduous species, boreal spruce, balsam fir, jack pine, poplar, birch and cedar. First Nations Peoples of Canada use a vast amount of plant species as medicine. Over 400 plants are used in native medicine, of which 105 plants were effective based on phytochemical constituents and conifers were the most widely used group. In this article, the antimicrobial activities of selected natural plant products recovered from the flora of Northern Ontario as well as the assessment of various chemicals constituents against selected microorganisms is reported. The present study has shown that certain plant extracts and select fractions and standard chemical compounds exhibit antimicrobial effects. Prince’s Pine, Chimaphila umbellate L., White Birch, Betula papyrifera Marshall, Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina L., Anacardiaceae, and Green Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall, Oleaceae were the principal extracts exhibiting notable antibacterial and/or antifungal activities.