Biological activity of extracts from commiphora swynnertonii against microbes of veterinary importance in chickens

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Studies were carried out to establish ethno-botanical information and biological activities of crude extracts from Commiphora swynnertonii against selected microbes of veterinary importance in chickens. Initially, a questionnaire survey was conducted to gather information on practices and knowledge on ethno-botanical uses of C. swynnertonii in the study area. Then extracts from different morphological parts of the study plant were tested against selected bacteria and fungi in vitro using agar well diffusion assay. Resin and root bark extracts showed significant activities (P < 0.001) against S. pyogenes, E. coli and B. subtilis compared to other extracts. The fungi, C. albicans and A. niger, were moderately inhibited. Antiviral activity of the resin and root bark extract was tested in ovo using embryonated chicken eggs inoculated with Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Both extracts significantly (P < 0.001) and effectively reduced virus titres. An animal trial was carried out using the resin and chickens experimentally infected with NDV. Results revealed significant reduction (P < 0.05) in clinical signs and mortality rates following administration of the resin before and after the infection. Prophylactic administration of the extract was found to be more effective than the therapeutic approach. HI titres decreased significantly (P < 0.001) in resin and root bark treated groups and in all chickens treated with resin irrespective of dose given and on whether the extract was administered before or after infection suggesting that the plant materials were capable of destroying the NDV before stimulating the developing chick‘s immunity. Another animal trial investigated the effect of the resin against experimental coccidiosis in chickens. Results showed that oral administration of the resin significantly (P < 0.001) reduced mortality rate. Safety margin of the resin was also investigated by determining its effects on selected physiological and biochemical parameters in chickens. The results revealed a good margin of safety provided that the dosage ranges between 200 to 800 mg resin/kg body weights. A phytochemical study was also carried to determine major bioactive compounds in the resin and root bark extracts. With these studies, it is concluded that extracts from C. swynnertonii especially resin, has significant antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticoccidial effect against the selected microbes. Further research is required to test and validate the extract against other pathogens of medical and veterinary importance.



Ethno-botanical information, Commiphora swynnertonii, Microbes, Newcastle disease virus