• 1 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University, No. 1 Jalan Menara Gading, UCSI Heights, 56000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 2 School of Science, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 47500, Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
  • 3 School of Science, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 47500, Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
BMC Complement Altern Med, 2018 Feb 20;18(1):70.
PMID: 29463252 DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2137-5


BACKGROUND: Bauhinia kockiana originates from Peninsular Malaysia and it is grown as a garden ornamental plant. Our previous study reported that this plant exhibited fairly strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. This paper focused on the assessment of the antibacterial activity of B. kockiana towards methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), to purify and to identify the antibacterial compounds, and to determine the mechanism of antibacterial activity.

METHODS: Antibacterial activity of B. kockiana flower was evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively using disc diffusion assay and microbroth dilution method. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of extracts were examined. Phytochemical analysis was performed to determine the classes of phytochemicals in the extracts. Bioactivity guided isolation was employed to purify the antibacterial agents and identified via various spectroscopy methods. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) technique was used to evaluate the antibacterial mechanism of extract and compounds isolated.

RESULTS: B. kockiana flower was found to exhibit fairly strong antibacterial activity towards both strains of MRSA bacteria used, MIC varies from 62.5-250 μg/mL. Tannins and flavonoids have been detected in the phytochemical analysis. Gallic acid and its ester derivatives purified from ethyl acetate extract could inhibit MRSA at 250-500 μg/mL. SEM revealed that the cells have undergone plasmolysis upon treatment with the extract and compounds.

CONCLUSION: Tannins and polyphenols are the antibacterial components towards MRSA in B. kockiana. Massive leakage of the cell content observed in treated cells showed that the phytochemicals have changed the properties of the cell membranes. Amphiphilic nature of the compounds exhibited the antibacterial activity towards MRSA via three stages: (1) cell membrane attachment; (2) cell membrane fluidity modification; and (3) cell membrane structure disruption.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.