BACKGROUND: In Pakistan Fagonia olivieri (Zygophyllaceae) is commonly used in the indigenous system of medicine for treatment of conditions like diabetes, cancer, fever, asthma, toothache, stomach troubles and kidney disorders. This study evaluated the crude methanol extract of F. olivieri (FOM) and its derived fractions for their antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities as well as the classes of phytochemical.
METHODS: Dried powder of whole plant of F. olivieri was extracted with methanol (FOM) and the resultant was fractionated to give n-hexane fraction (FOH), chloroform fraction (FOC), ethyl acetate fraction (FOE), n-butanol fraction (FOB) and residual aqueous fraction (FOA). Methanol extract and its derived fractions were subjected to phytochemical screening using standard procedures. Also the extract and fractions were assayed for antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities using agar well diffusion technique, agar tube dilution method and brine shrimps lethality test, respectively.
RESULTS: The results obtained for phytochemical analysis indicate the presence of saponins and alkaloids in all the tested extract and fractions while anthraquinones were not detected. The results showed that all the bacterial strains tested in this study were susceptible to at least one of the fractions tested. However, FOE and FOB were the best antibacterial fractions and showed antibacterial activity against maximum number of bacterial strains. The results showed that Escherichia coli was the most sensitive bacterium while Bordetella bronchiseptica and Enterobacter aerogenes were less susceptible against various fractions. Maximum percent inhibition for growth was recorded for the fungus Aspergillus flavus with FOE whereas growth of Aspergillus fumigatus and Fusarium solani was inhibited by FOM and its all derived fractions. Minimum LC50 (24.07 mg/L) for brine shrimp assay was recorded for FOE followed by LC50 of FOC (26.1 mg/L) and FOB (30.05 mg/L) whereas maximum LC50 was exhibited by FOH (1533 mg/L).
CONCLUSION: These results indicated the use of F. olivieri to treat infections with emphasis to isolate and characterize the active principle responsible for antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activities and its exploitation as therapeutic agent.