Ejele, A.E. and Nwokonkwo, D.C.
The effect of microbial spoilage on phytochemical composition and antimicrobial potential of Ipecae root extract was studied. Preliminary phytochemical screening of the neat, undegraded extract showed presence of glycosides and saponins, which were not dictated in the extract after microbial degradation; instead sugars, free phenols and tannins (both hydrolysable and condensed) became prominent. Therefore it was concluded that the microorganisms, responsible for the spoilage, broke down glycosidic linkages and produced simple sugars which formed their food nutrients. In the process, they altered phytochemical composition of the extract, produced phenolic substances and probably hindered the growth of other microorganisms by formation of more potent antimicrobial drugs. It was concluded that acidic metabolite isolated from the microbial degraded extract could be good antibiotic drug (or source of one such drug) in that it inhibited the growth of all test microorganisms and showed inhibition zone diameters (IZD) equal to or greater than 30mm against Coliform bacilli, Escherica coli, Salmonella typhi, and Staphylococcus aureus.
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