Antimicrobial discovery from South African marine algae
Rufaro Mabande, Edmund
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Antimicrobials are chemical compounds that destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. The majority of these antimicrobials are actually natural products or natural product derived with key examples being the pioneer antibiotics penicillin and cephalosporin. Antimicrobials are an extremely important class of therapeutic agents; however, the development of drug resistance and slow pace of new antibiotic discovery is one of the major health issues facing the world today. There is therefore a crucial need to discover and develop new antibacterial agents. In this study, the potential of marine algae as a source of new antibiotics was explored. Crude organic extracts and chromatographic fractions obtained from small-scale extraction of 17 different marine algae were used to prepare a pre-fractionated library that would be tested against several disease causing microorganisms. The activity of the pre-fractionated library and purified compounds was determined against a panel of drug resistant microorganisms namely Acinetobacter baumannii ATCCBAA®-1605™, Enterococcus faecalis ATCC® 51299™, Escherichia coli ATCC® 25922™, Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus ATCC® 33591™ and Candida albicans ATCC® 24433™. Finally, cytotoxicity tests of 50 selected library extracts and isolated compounds were done against two cell lines namely MCF-7 (breast cancer) and HEK-293 (kidney embryonic).