The scientific merit of Carpobrotus mellei L. based on antimicrobial activity and chemical profiling
Springfield, E. P.
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Species of the genus Carpobrotus are similar in appearance and have been used for medicinal purposes over many generations. Carpobrotus mellei is endemic to the south-Western Cape of South Africa, and also used for various ailments. To date no scientific validation and information has been reported on C. mellei. This study investigated the antimicrobial potential of C. mellei against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Mycobacterium smegmatis, and determined the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) by two-fold serial dilution. C. mellei showed antimicrobial activity against S. aureus and M. smegmatis in the disc diffusion method. Eight chemical compounds showed clear zones of inhibition in the bioautograms, seven against S. aureus and three compounds were active against M. smegmatis. The ethyl acetate extracts have MIC values of 7.5 mg/ml and 15 mg/ml against S. aureus and M. smegmatis, respectively. Phytochemical tests indicated the presence of flavonoids, hydrolysable tannins, phytosterols and aromatic acids. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed a species-specific spectrum at a wavelength of 280 nm. The results confirm that C. mellei has scientific merit, and can substitute one of the other Carpobrotus species for antimicrobial usage within the south-Western Cape of South Africa.