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Antibacterial activity of Eurycoma longifolia Jack

Objective: To evaluate methanolic, ethanolic, acetone and aqueous extracts from different parts of Eurycoma longifolia (E. longifolia) (leave, stem, and root) for antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and to utilize the leaves and stem parts rather than the root, which is already used for male sexual enhancement in Malaysia.

Methods: The study took place in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Biotechnology Engineering Department, Malaysia between January 2005 and June 2006. Methanolic, ethanolic, acetone and aqueous extracts of leaves, stems and roots of E. longifolia were investigated for their antibacterial properties using Agar-well diffusion method.

Results: The alcoholic and acetone extracts of the leaves and stem extracts were active on both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria except against 2 strains of Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhi). The root extracts had no antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria tested. Aqueous leaves extract showed antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Serratia marscesens.

Conclusion: The alcoholic and acetone extracts from leaves and stems of E. longifolia contain potent antibacterial agent(s). This plant can serve as a potential source of antibacterial compounds.

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