PROJECT TOPIC: ANTIMICROBIAL EFFICACY OF GUAVA (Pisdium guajava) AND ORANGE (Citrus sinensis) STEMS EXTRACT AGAINST Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans

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Medicinal plants constitute an effective source of both traditional and modern medicine. These plants have been shown to have genuine utility and about 80% of the rural population depends on them as primary health care (Akinyemi, 2000). Plants have been used as sources of remedies for the treatment of many diseases since ancient times and people of all continents especially Africa have this old tradition. Infections caused by pathogenic bacteria and fungi remain an important public health concern particularly in developing countries because of factors such as: emergence of bacterial and fungal strains that are resistant to most useful antibiotics (Abad et al., 2007; WHO, 2007), HIV/AIDS pandemic (Wagate et al., 2008) and unavailability of vaccine (Assob et al., 2011). Conventional drugs are expensive and the western health facilities are also inaccessible to rural people (Matu and Staden, 2003; Wagete et al., 2008). Medicinal plants have been used since time immemorial to treat and prevent human ailments because they have components of therapeutic value (Hassan et al., 2006; Gulluce et al., 2006; Parekh and Chanda, 2007). Domesticated and non-domesticated animals in ordinary settings unconsciously treat themselves when sick by eating various parts of medicinal plants such as leaves, stems, barks and roots (Sindiga et al., 1995). They may also treat their skin conditions by briskly rubbing themselves against suitable plants with curative properties (Sindiga et al., 1995). WHO estimates that up to 80% of the world`s population relies on plants for their primary health care needs (Doughari, 2006; Turker and Usta, 2008; Verma et al., 2011). Such a large population depends on traditional medicine due to factors such as: Increase in resistance to the commonly used antibiotics, high cost and inaccessibility to antibiotics especially in rural areas. It is however noted that medicinal plants are readily available, they have little side effects and there is extensive local knowledge on herbal medicine amongst the communities (Rojas et al., 2006; Doughari et al., 2008). There are about 20,000 plant species used for medicinal purposes (Gulluce et al., 2006). From which at least 121 chemical substances are extracted (Olila et al., 2007). Some of the known good sources of pharmacologically active compounds are natural products from fungi and higher plants (Olila et al., 2001). Many of the effective drugs such as anti-malarial, anticancer, anti-diabetic and antibiotics such as atropine and ergometrine compounds have been purified from medicinal plants (Olila et al., 2001; Samie et al., 2005). Medicinal plants are also sources of many active ingredients in the pharmaceutical industries (Maundu and Tengnas, 2005).

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