An investigation into the antimicrobial and immune modulatory effects of Sutherlandia frutescens and Salvia africana-lutea extracts and their respective biogenic nanoparticles
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The prevalence of cancer and antibiotic-resistant microbes has led to the necessity of affordable, efficacious, non-toxic and easily accessible therapeutic approaches. There is numerous anecdotal evidence that African Traditional Medicines (ATM), in particular medicinal plants, have anticancer, antimicrobial and “immune booster” activities. The interaction of medicinal plants with the immune system could be a great asset in drug discovery. Two South African plants, Sutherlandia frutescens (cancer bush) and Salvia africana-lutea (brown dune sage) have been associated with a long history of traditional use in the treatment of a variety of ailments including cancer and infections. Additionally, the complexity of phytochemicals present in medicinal plants has led to their utilization in the synthesis of biogenic nanoparticles. Synthesis of colloidal biogenic nanoparticles using plant extracts could possibly enhance the bioactivity of the synthesising phytochemicals. The improved bioactivity of synthesised biogenic nanoparticles is probably due to the enhanced stability of synthesising phytochemicals within the nanoparticles, and increased surface area of nanoparticles giving rise to an improved delivery of beneficial phytochemicals to target cells.