Acaricides are commonly used to control ticks but are toxic, harmful to the environment and too expensive to resource-limited farmers. Traditionally, many communities in South Africa rely on a wide range of indigenous practices to keep their livestock healthy. One of these health care practices includes the use of medicinal plants and this offers an alternative to conventional medicine. An investigation was conducted at the CSIR in South Africa, and selected indigenous plants used in communities were scientifically evaluated for the management of ticks in animals. 17 plants were selected from 239 plants used traditionally in South Africa. Two different organic extracts were prepared from the 17 samples, resulting in 34 plant samples. These were tested for efficacy against two tick species, namely Rhipicephalus microplus and Rhipicephalus turanicus. The plant extracts were also screened against Vero cells and most were found to have low cytotoxicity. This study has shown that there is potential for the development of botanicals as natural acaricides against ticks that are non-toxic and environmentally benign.
One of the tasks in contemporary biotechnology, pharmacology and other fields of human activities is to obtain biologically active substances from plants. They are very essential in the treatment of many diseases due to their actually high therapeutic value without visible side effects. However, sometimes the possibility of obtaining the metabolites is limited due to the reduction of wild-growing plants. That is why the plant cell cultures are of great interest as alternative sources of biologically active substances. Besides, during the monitored cultivation, it is possible to obtain substances that are not synthesized by plants in nature. Isolated culture of Ajuga genevensis with high growth activity and ability of regeneration was obtained using MS nutrient medium. The agar-diffusion method showed that aqueous extracts of callus culture revealed high antimicrobial activity towards various gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis A1WT; B. mesentericus WDCM 1873; Staphylococcus aureus WDCM 5233; Staph. citreus WT) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli WKPM M-17; Salmonella typhimurium TA 100) microorganisms. The broth dilution method revealed that the minimal and half maximal inhibitory concentration values against E. coli corresponded to the 70 μg/mL and 140 μg/mL concentration of the extract respectively. According to the photochemiluminescent analysis, callus tissue extracts of leaf and root origin showed higher antioxidant activity than the same quantity of A. genevensis intact plant extract. A. genevensis intact plant and callus culture extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on K-562 suspension cell line of human chronic myeloid leukemia. The GC-MS analysis showed deep differences between the qualitative and quantitative composition of callus culture and intact plant extracts. Hexacosane (11.17%); n-hexadecanoic acid (9.33%); and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol (4.28%) were the main components of intact plant extracts. 10-Methylnonadecane (57.0%); methoxyacetic acid, 2-tetradecyl ester (17.75%) and 1-Bromopentadecane (14.55%) were the main components of A. genevensis callus culture extracts. Obtained data indicate that callus culture of A. genevensis can be used as an alternative source of biologically active substances.
Liposome plays an important role in medical and pharmaceutical science as e.g. nano scale drug carriers. Liposomes are vesicles of varying size consisting of a spherical lipid bilayer and an aqueous inner compartment. Magnet-driven liposome used for the targeted delivery of drugs to organs and tissues. These liposome preparations contain encapsulated drug components and finely dispersed magnetic particles. Liposomes are vesicles of varying size consisting of a spherical lipid bilayer and an aqueous inner compartment that are generated in vitro. These are useful in terms of biocompatibility, biodegradability, and low toxicity, and can control biodistribution by changing the size, lipid composition, and physical characteristics. Furthermore, liposomes can entrap both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs and are able to continuously release the entrapped substrate, thus being useful drug carriers. Magnetic liposomes (MLs) are phospholipid vesicles that encapsulate magneticor paramagnetic nanoparticles. They are applied as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The biological synthesis of nanoparticles using plant extracts plays an important role in the field of nanotechnology. Green-synthesized magnetite nanoparticles-protein hybrid has been produced by treating Iron (III) / Iron (II) chloride with the leaf extract of Datura inoxia. The phytochemicals present in the leaf extracts act as a reducing as well stabilizing agents preventing agglomeration, which include flavonoids, phenolic compounds, cardiac glycosides, proteins and sugars. The magnetite nanoparticles-protein hybrid has been trapped inside the aqueous core of the liposome prepared by reversed phase evaporation (REV) method using oleic and linoleic acid which has been shown to be driven under magnetic field confirming the formation magnetic liposome (ML). Chemical characterization of stealth magnetic liposome has been performed by breaking the liposome and release of magnetic nanoparticles. The presence iron has been confirmed by colour complex formation with KSCN and UV-Vis study using spectrophotometer Cary 60, Agilent. This magnet driven liposome using nanoparticles-protein hybrid can be a smart vesicles for the targeted drug delivery.
Microorganisms can be removed, inhibited or killed by physical agents, physical processes or chemical agents but they have their inherent disadvantages such as increased resistance against antibiotics etc. Since, plants have endless ability to synthesize aromatic substances which act as the master agents for plant defense mechanisms against microorganisms, insects and herbivores. Thus, secondary metabolites or phytochemicals obtained from plants can be used as agents of disease control nowadays. In the present study effect of different concentrations of acetone fraction of leaves and alcohol fraction of inflorescence of Euphorbia pulcherrima on various cytomorphological parameters i.e. cell number, mycelium width, conidial size, conidiophore size etc. of Aspergillus fumigatus has been studied. Change in mycelium/ hyphal cell width, conidium size, conidiophore size etc. was measured with the help of a previously calibrated oculometer. To study effect on morphology, fungal mycelium along with conidiophore and conidia were stained with cotton blue and mounted in lactophenol and observed microscopically. Inhibitory action of the acetone extract of Euphorbia pulcherrima leaf on growth of Aspergillus fumigatus was investigated. Control containing extract free medium supported profuse growth of the fungus. Although decrease in growth was observed even at 3.95μg/ml but significant inhibition of growth was started at7.81μg/ml concentration of the extract. Complete inhibition was observed at 15.62μg/ml and above. Microscopic examination revealed that at 3.95, 7.81 and 15.62μg/ml extract concentration hyphal cell width was found to be increased from 1.44μm in control to 3.86, 5.24 and 8.98 μm respectively giving a beaded appearance to the mycelium. Vesicle size was reduced from 24.78x20.08μm (control) to 11.34x10.06μm at 3.95μg/ml concentration. At 7.81 and 15.62μg/ml concentration no phialides and sterigmata were observed. Inhibitory action of the alcohol extract of inflorescence on the growth of Aspergillus fumigatus was also studied. Control containing extract free medium supported profuse growth of the fungus. Although decrease in growth was observed even at 3.95μg/ml but complete inhibition was observed at 62.5μg/ml and above. Microscopic examination revealed that hyphal cell width of Aspergillus fumigatus was found to be increased from 1.67μm in control to 5.84μm at MIC i.e. at 62.5μg/ml. Vesicle size was reduced from 44.76x 24.22μm (control) to 11.36x 6.80μm at 15.62μg/ml concentrations. At 31.25 μg/ml and 62.5μg/ml concentration no phialides and sterigmata was found. Spore germination was completely found to be inhibited at 3.95μg/ml concentration. Similarly 92.87% reduction in vesicle size was observed at 15.62μg/ml concentration. It is evident from the results that plant extracts inhibit fungal growth and this inhibition is concentration dependent.