Phytochemical composition and antibacterial efficacy of Phyllantus amarus Linn against bacteria isolated from ready-to-eat foods vended in Akure, Nigeria

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria


Background:  Phyllantus amarus has been exploited in different parts of the world because of its pharmacological value. This value is known to be as a result of the phytochemical constituents found in different parts of the plants. In this paper, we examined the phytochemicals inherent in the leaves of P. amarus, both qualitatively and quantitatively, while also evaluating its antimicrobial efficacy against selected pathogenic bacteria. Methods: Test bacteria were isolated from ready-to-eat food samples. Extracts of P. amarus were prepared using water, ethanol and n-hexane as extracts and then screened for their bioactive components and antibacterial activities. The chemical components and their percentage abundance were evaluated using Varian GC – MS equipment alongside Mass Spectrometer (MS) 3000 equipped with Agilient MS capillary column. Results: Phytochemicals such as Flavonoids, Tannins, Phenolics Amino Acids, Saponins, among others were detected in various extracts of the plant. Ethanol extract at 300 mg/ml showed the highest potency against Salmonella typhi with a zone of inhibition 24.67±0.88 mm but had no effect on Citrobacter freundii. Water extract at 300 mg/ml induced zone of inhibition of 15.00±1.73 mm and 15.00±1.16 mm against Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi respectively, while Shigella dysenteriae was the least susceptible with an inhibition zone of 12.67±0.33 mm. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that extracts of Phyllanthus amarus have antimicrobial potency on bacterial isolates. These antibacterial properties are due to the presence of some phytochemicals and bioactive compounds.


Main Subjects