Cryptolepis sanguinolenta activity against diarrhoeal bacteria

J Ethnopharmacol. 1994 Oct;44(2):73-7. doi: 10.1016/0378-8741(94)90071-x.


Cryptolepine is the main alkaloid of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schlechter, a plant used in traditional medicine in West Africa. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of cryptolepine, ethanol and aqueous extracts of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta root were determined for 65 strains of Campylobacter jejuni, 41 strains of Campylobacter coli isolated from sporadic cases of gastroenteritis in Portugal and 86 strains of Vibrio cholerae isolated from patients with enteric infections in Angola, Brazil and Portugal. The ethanol extract activity against Campylobacter strains (MIC90% = 25 micrograms/ml) is higher than that of co-trimoxazole and sulfamethoxazole and Campylobacter strains susceptibility for cryptolepine (MIC90% = 12.5 micrograms/ml) is equal for ampicillin. The ethanol extract and cryptolepine show some activity against the Vibrio cholerae strains, although their activities are lower than that of tetracycline. The results suggest that these roots could be a therapeutic alternative for bacterial etiologic diarrhoea in West Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / therapy
  • Diarrhea / microbiology*
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Humans
  • Medicine, African Traditional
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Plant Extracts