Plants are one of the blessings of nature and known for their significant benefits. Valuable medicines extracting from plants are effective as well as with zero side effects. Medicinal plants have certain compounds that exhibit bioactivity termed as anti-infective. Current anti-infective investigations focus on growth inhibition/killing action of bacteria. While, compounds which leads to inhibition in the quorum sensing system instead of direct killing of bacteria have anti-pathogenic effect with less degree of antibiotics resistance1. Therefore, compounds having anti-quorum sensing activity may gain the attention of scientists to fight against microbial infections2,3.
Several virulence functions in bacteria, including motility and biofilm formation, are under regulation of quorum sensing related gene expression. Motility aids bacteria in their nutrient uptake, avoid toxic substances, infect preferred host and optimize the colonization sites4. A quorum sensing inhibitor compound is expecting to bind the movement and to modulate the bacterial pathogenicity. M. tuberosa is a medicinal plant which is widely used in West Papua as a herbal tea for a broad range of therapeutic values. This plant lives as an epiphyte on big trees and has mutualistic symbiosis with ants. Therefore in Indonesia, this plant is named “Sarang Semut” or Ant-Nest. M. tuberosa has been reported as a potential immunomodulator (an agent that can modify immune system)5,6.
An experiment was performed to assess the strength of M. tuberosa as a new anti-infective agent and investigating the extract and fractions on quorum-sensing related pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. In this procedure; lipids were removed with petroleum ether, pulverized tuber was soaked in methanol. After evaporation to attain methanol extract, liquid-liquid partition was performed on the extract to yield hexane, ethyl acetate and water fractions. The extract and fractions were screened for the effects on the planktonic growth of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Inhibition of pigment production was observed on cetrimide Agar following sample treatment on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Samples were prepared as 2-0.0625 mg mL–1 concentration. The effects on swimming, swarming and twitching motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 following sample application were observed. All experiments were done in triplicate.
Conclusively; the ethyl acetate fraction showed potential anti-planktonic growth towards S. aureus and P. aeruginosa while anti-pathogenic activity was observed towards P. aeruginosa. Quorum sensing inhibition of the ethyl acetate fraction resulted from a collaboration of several chemical constituents including phenolic content. Potential of ethyl acetate fraction of M. tuberosa to infect P. aeruginosa was discovered. However, further research is mandatory to isolate and identify the compound responsible for the anti-pathogenic activity of M. tuberosa.
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