Extracts of Canadian First Nations Medicinal Plants, Used as Natural Products, Inhibit Neisseria gonorrhoeae Isolates With Different Antibiotic Resistance Profiles.
From the *Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; and †Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) has developed resistance to most antimicrobial agents and the antibiotics recommended for therapy are restricted, for the most part, to third generation cephalosporins.
In order to investigate new potential sources of antimicrobial agents, the antibacterial properties of 14 Canadian plants used in traditional First Nations' medicine were tested against Ng isolates having differing antimicrobial susceptibility profiles.
Ethanolic extracts of 14 Canadian botanicals, analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography, were tested for their antimicrobial activity (disc diffusion and/or agar dilution assays) against susceptible Ng reference strains and a panel of 28 Ng isolates with various antimicrobial resistance profiles.
Extracts of Arctostaphylos uva ursi (kinnikinnick or bearberry), Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Prunus serotina (black cherry), and Rhodiola rosea (roseroot) inhibited the growth of all Ng isolates with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 32 μg/mL, 4 to 32 μg/mL, 16 to >32 μg/mL, and 32 to 64 μg/mL, respectively.
Extracts of Acorus americanus (sweet flag), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh), Equisetum arvense (field horsetail), Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen), Ledum groenlandicum (Labrador tea), Ledum palustre (marsh Labrador tea), Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose), Sambucus nigra (elderberry), and Zanthoxylum americanum (prickly ash) had weak or no antimicrobial activity against the Ng isolates with minimum inhibitory concentrations ≥256 μg/mL.
The phytochemical berberine from H. canadensis inhibited the growth of all Ng isolates. The phytochemicals, salidroside and rosavin, present in R. rosea, also showed inhibitory activity against Ng strains.
Canadian botanicals represent a potential source of novel compounds which inhibit Ng, including isolates resistant to antibiotics.