African mistletoe (Tapinanthus dodoneifolius (DC) Danser) called 'Kauchi' in Hausa is a hemi-plant parasite used ethnomedicinally by the Hausa and the Fulani tribes of Northern Nigeria as a remedy for several human and animal ailments that include stomach ache, diarrhoea, dysentery, wound and cancer. Screening of the plant, obtained from 14 different hosts, revealed a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activities against certain multiple drug resistant bacterial and fungal isolates of farm animals. Interestingly, the inhibition of the growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Bacillus sp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp., Proteus sp. and Pseudomonas sp., bacterial sp. known to be associated with either crown gall or gastrointestinal tract and wound infections, by extracts of T. dodoneifolius gives credence to the ethnomedicinal usage of the plant. Phytochemical screening showed the common occurrence of anthraquinones, saponins, and tannins, a rare presence of alkaloids and the absence of phlobatannins in the hemi-parasite. Moreover, the antimicrobial activity and the presence or distribution of phytochemical substances in T. dodoneifolius appeared to be partly dependent on the host plant species.
- African mistletoe
- Tapinanthus dodoneifolius
- Phytochemical and antibiotics