Journal of Young Pharmacists

: 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42--44

Antibacterial activity of Lantana camara Linn and Lantana montevidensis brig extracts from Cariri-Ceará, Brazil

FS Barreto1, EO Sousa1, AR Campos2, JGM Costa1, FFG Rodrigues1,  
1 Departamento de Química-Biológica, Laboratório de Pesquisa de Produtos Naturais, Universidade Regional do Cariri, Rua Cel. Antônio Luiz 1161, Pimenta, 63105 - 000, Crato-CE, Brazil
2 Vice-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação, Universidade de Fortaleza, Av. Washington Soares 1321, Edson Queiroz, 60811-905, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
JGM Costa
Departamento de Química-Biológica, Laboratório de Pesquisa de Produtos Naturais, Universidade Regional do Cariri, Rua Cel. Antônio Luiz 1161, Pimenta, 63105 - 000, Crato-CE


The use of medicinal plants with therapeutics properties represents a secular tradition in different cultures, mainly in underdeveloped countries. Lantana camara Linn and Lantana montevidensis Briq (Verbenaceae) found in tropical and subtropical areas around the world are popularly known as «DQ»camará«DQ» or «DQ»chumbinho.«DQ» In popular medicines, both plants are used as antipyretic and carminative and in the treatment of respiratory system infections. In this study, the antibacterial activity of the ethanolic extracts of L. camara and L. montevidensis leaves and roots against gram-positive and gram-negative strains standard and multi-resistant bacteria isolated from clinical material are presented. In order to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), the microdilution method was used. The extracts demonstrated antibacterial activity against all tested bacteria, but the L. montevidensis fresh leaves extract present the best result against P. aeruginosa (MIC 8 µg/mL) and against multi-resistant E. coli (Ec 27) (MIC 16 µg/mL). These results drive new researches with both species in order to isolate the constituents responsible for the activity.

How to cite this article:
Barreto F S, Sousa E O, Campos A R, Costa J, Rodrigues F. Antibacterial activity of Lantana camara Linn and Lantana montevidensis brig extracts from Cariri-Ceará, Brazil.J Young Pharmacists 2010;2:42-44

How to cite this URL:
Barreto F S, Sousa E O, Campos A R, Costa J, Rodrigues F. Antibacterial activity of Lantana camara Linn and Lantana montevidensis brig extracts from Cariri-Ceará, Brazil. J Young Pharmacists [serial online] 2010 [cited 2014 Apr 15 ];2:42-44
Available from: /text.asp?2010/2/1/42/62211

Full Text


The use of medicinal plants with therapeutical purposes represents a secular tradition in different cultures. Vegetal species have been shown effective to treat many infections, such as tumors [1] Considering the fact that several microorganisms become resistant to conventional antibiotics and the Brazilian vegetal biodiversity, research groups have paid attention to natural products as source of new molecules with pharmacological potential that could be more efficient against nosocomial pathogens and less toxic to human body. [2],[3],[4]

The Verbenaceae family comprises 100 genera and about 2600 species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. [5] Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants popularly used as antirheumatic, stimulant, antibacterial, biologic control, and as ornamental plant. [6],[7]

Lantana camara Linn, typical in Americas and Africa, and Lantana montevidensis Briq, native to Brazil and Uruguay are popularly known as "camará", "cambará" or "chumbinho." They are shrubs introduced in many countries as ornamental plants and considered as invasive species in many parts of the world. [8] In popular medicine, both species are used as carminative, antispasmodic, antiemetic, and to treat respiratory infections as cough, cold, asthma, and bronchitis. Previous studies related antitumoral, antifungal, antimalarial, analgesic, and hepatotoxic activities. [9]

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts from L. camara and L. montevidensis leaves and roots using the microdilution method to assay the susceptibilities of five bacteria strains (American Type Culture Collection - ATCC) and two multi-resistant strains isolated from clinical material.

 Materials and Methods

Plant material

The leaves of L. camara and L. montevidensis were collected in March, 2009, from the Small Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Garden of the Natural Products Research Laboratory (LPPN) at Universidade Regional do Cariri (URCA), city of Crato, Ceará state, Brazil. The exsiccate was deposited at the Herbarium Caririensis "Dárdano de Andrade Lima", Biology Department, under registry numbers 1662 and 1619, respectively, for L. camara and L. montevidensis.

Extracts preparation

Ethanolic extracts were prepared using the cold extraction method. L. camara (240 g of the fresh leaves and 185 g of the roots) and L. montevidensis (400 g of the fresh leaves and 714 g of the roots) were placed in a flask containing cold ethanol and left in this position for 72 h at ambient temperature. A rotary vacuum pump extractor was used to remove the ethanol from the extracts (under reduced pressure). The extracts were weighted and stored.

Antibacterial assays

The antibacterial activities of the extracts were investigated by employing a microdilution method, recommended by NCCCLS M7-A6. [10] The assay was carried out with five bacterial species obtained from Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-FIOCRUZ: Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 12692), Proteus vulgaris (ATCC 13135), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 15442), Víbrio cholareae (ATCC 15748), Escherichia coli (ATCC 2992) and two multiresistant strains obtained from clinical material: E. coli (Ec 27, from sputum) and S. aureus (Sa 358, from cirurgical wound).

Brain Hear Infusion Broth (BHI 3.8%) was used for bacterial growth (24 h, 35 ± 2ºC). The inoculum was an overnight culture of each bacterial species in BHI broth diluted in the same media to a final concentration of approximately 1 x 10 8 UFC/mL (0.5 nephelometric turbidity units - McFarland scale). After this, the suspension was diluted to 1 x 10 6 UFC/mL in 10% BHI. 100 µL of each dilution were distributed in 96-well plates plus extracts in different concentrations, achieving 5 x 10 5 UFC/mL as the final concentration of the inoculum.

Extracts were dissolved in distilled water and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to a concentration of 103 µg/mL. Further serial dilutions were performed by addition of BHI broth to reach a final concentration in the range of 512 a 8 µg/mL. All experiments were performed in triplicate, and the microdilution trays were incubated at 35 ± 2ºC for 24 h. Antibacterial activity was detected using a colorimetric method by adding 25 µL of resauzurin staining (0.01%) aqueous solution in each well at the end of the incubation period. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was defined as the lowest essential oil concentration able to inhibit the bacteria growth, as indicated by resauzurin staining (bacteria died cells are not able to change the staining color by visual observation-blue to red).

 Results and Discussion

Several new antibacterial agents are currently being developed in response to the emergence of bacterial resistance to existing drug. New vegetal sources presenting antimicrobial activity and low toxicity could be a viable alternative, with low cost and easily accessible to poor communities where the species are found. [11] The antibacterial activity of ethanolic extract from L. camara and L. montevidensis presented excellent results against the pathogenic microorganisms tested [Table 1].

The extracts presented antibacterial activity against clinically relevant pathogens (gram positive and gram negative). L. camara leaves extract was active against P. vulgaris and V. cholerae (MIC 128 µg/mL for both strains); in addition the root extract was effective against P. vulgaris and P. aeruginosa (64 and 128 µg/mL, respectively). The leaves and roots L. montevidensis extracts were active against P. vulgaris and P. aeruginosa (MIC 8 µg/mL) and two strains of E. coli (MIC 16 µg/mL for the multiresistant strain) as shown in [Table 1].

Previous studies using extracts from Lantana species showed that they were able to inhibit the growth of gram-positive bacteria strains. [12] However, in this study, the antibacterial activity against gram-negative bacteria was verified, mainly P. aeruginosa. This is relevant information as Navon-Venezia (2005) [13] reported that since 1980, after the introduction of carbapenems, no new antibiotics have been used for the treatment of infections caused by multiresistant gram-negative bacilli (P. aeruginosa, for example).

The results that we present here are relevant, as the literature has shown that gram-positive bacteria are more sensitive to antibiotics. The gram-negative bacteria display some particularities that inhibit antibiotics penetration, as the lipopolyssacaride layer that determines the permeability and susceptibility to antibiotics. [14] We suggest that data obtained here may suffer seasonal influence and/or be associated with the presence of chemical compounds (terpenes, triterpenes, quinones, alkaloids, and flavonoids) derived from Lantana species secondary metabolism as reported in phytochemical studies.


The authors are grateful to the Brazilian Agency FUNCAP for financial support and FIOCRUZ for the microbial lines.


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