Antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts of some moss species

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Introduction: For centuries, mosses have been used in traditional medicine due to their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities. Objective: The present study was designed to evaluate the antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts obtained from 12 moss species: Brachythecium albicans, Bryum argenteum, Ceratodon purpureus, Dicranum scoparium, Dryptodon pulvinatus, Orthotrichum anomalum, Oxyrrhynchium hians, Plagiomnium undulatum, Polytrichum juniperinum, P. piliferum, Schistidium crassipilum, and Syntrichia ruralis. Methods: The antimicrobial activity of extracts was investigated against three Gram(+) bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes) and two Gram(-) bacteria (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae), using the agar disc-diffusion method. Results: The high activity against all investigated bacteria was determined for extracts of D. pulvinatus, P. undulatum, B. argenteum, S. crassipilum, O. anomalum (mean inhibition zone: 11.3-13.1 mm) and to a lesser extent in the case of D. scoparium (8.3 mm). Extracts from P. juniperinum and P. piliferum showed activity only against Gram-positive bacteria, with an inhibition zone from 7.3 to 9.7 mm. Four species: B. albicans, C. purpureus, O. hians, and S. ruralis had not antibacterial properties. Conclusions: The obtained results indicate that mosses could be a significant source of antibacterial agents. For the first time, we presented antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts from S. crassipilum and O. anomalum.

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