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Characterization of the Antibacterial and Phytochemical Potentials of Leaves Extracts of Azadirachta Indica A. Juss. By: K. H. Enyi-Idoh , S. J. Utsalo , J. Epoke , G. E. Arikpo , M. E. Eja


The antibacterial potentials and phytochemical compositions of Azadirachta indica A Juss, popularly known as neem or dogoyaro in Nigeria was evaluated by various pretreatment procedures using a range of  dilution  ratios  in  aqueous  and  alcoholic  solvents  on  sensitive  clinical  isolates  of  Staphylococcus aureus  and  Escherichia  coli.  The  leaves  of  A.  indica  were  extracted  with  aqueous  and  alcoholic solvents for 2 and 72 hours at varying weight/volume ratios and evaluated for antibacterial activity against test bacteria using the well plate method. Minimum inhibitory/bactericidal concentrations were   determined. Phytochemical   compounds   were   also   evaluated   qualitatively   by   thin   layer chromatography and quantitatively by direct chemical estimation.  Ethanolic  extracts  were  more active than methanolic extracts with highest zone size of 22±0.04 against E. coli at the 500mg/ml concentration  of  freshly  decocted  extracts  compared  to  26mm  recorded  with  shade  dried  soxhlet extracts. Activity was most prominent after 2 hours of decoction. MIC and MBC were 625#g/ml each against S. aureus and 1250#g/ml and 2500#g/ml respectively for E. coli. The plants were shown to have ample quantities of saponins, flavonoids and alkaloids.  No particular pattern was established in the   antibacterial   activity   and   hence   no   standard   protocol   could   be   suggested. The   level   of phytochemical compounds Neem contains is a pointer to the usefulness of the plant as a credible and cheap alternative for antibiotics considering its abundance and availability.