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Issues in Biological Sciences and Pharmaceutical Research
Vol.2(8),pp.081-089,September 2014
ISSN 2350-1588
Article ID BSPR050,09 pages
Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 International License

Original Research Article

Medicinal plants used in wound care: Assessment of wound healing and antimicrobial properties of Zanthoxylum leprieurii

Christian Agyare1*, Emelia Kisseih2, Ivy Yaa Kyere1 and  Paul Poku Sampane Ossei3

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
2Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry, University of Muenster, Correnstrasse 48, D-48149, Muenster, Germany.
3Department of Pathology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

*Corresponding Author E-mail: cagyare.pharm(at)
Tel.: +233246369803.

date Received:     date Accepted: September 23, 2014     date Published:


Zanthoxylum leprieurii Guill and Perr. (Family Rutaceae) is used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, purgative and in the treatment of wounds, ulcers, pains, arthritis, skin and urinary tract infections, dysentery and intestinal worm infestation. However, no extensive scientific research has been conducted to verify the anti-infective and wound healing properties of the plant. The objective of this study is to investigate the antimicrobial, antioxidant and in vivo wound healing properties of the aqueous-methanol (3:7, v/v) stem bark of extract of Zanthoxylum leprieurii (AMZL). Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of aqueous-methanol stem bark extract of Z. leprieurii against typed strains of Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and clinical strains of Streptococcus pyogenes and Candida albicans were 20.0, 20.0, 20.0, 40.0, 20.0 and 20.0 mg/mL respectively. The free radical scavenging activity using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) gave an IC50 of 28.7 µg/mL for the aqueous-methanol stem bark extract of Z. leprieurii while the reference antioxidant, α-tocopherol, had IC50 of 0.79 µg/ml. The excision wound model studies of the 7.5 and 15.0% w/w extract (AMZL) creams with Sprague-Dawley rats showed a significant decrease in wounds treated with 7.5% w/w aqueous cream extract at days 9 (p<0.001) and 11 (p<0.01)  compared to the untreated wounds. There was profuse proliferation of fibroblasts with varying degrees of fibrosis in extract treated wound tissues compared with the untreated wound tissues. Fibroblasts and collagen fibers were more present in the extract treated groups compared to untreated wound tissues. Tissues from wounds treated with 7.5% w/w extract cream showed more fibrosis (60 to 70%) than the 15% w/w extract cream (40 to 50%). Preliminary phytochemical screening of the stem bark revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, carbohydrates and saponins. The above findings may justify the folkloric uses of the plant for the treatment of wounds and microbial infections.

Key words: Antimicrobial, antioxidant, wound healing, minimum inhibitory concentration

Agyare et al