SCREENING METHODS: Inhibition or Time killing curve(3)

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Time killing curve(3) Screening methods should be used together, one endpoint and one descriptive test. The endpoint test helps to determine the approximate effective concentration, and the descriptive test evaluates the effect of a compound on growth over time. Several factors may affect the suitability of these methods for use with plant extracts. These factors include the type of organism being tested, concentration of inoculum, type of media and nature of the extract being tested (pH, solubility etc.) (Griffin, 2000; Hood et al, 2004). The methods can be used to simply determine whether or not antibacterial activity is present or can be used to calculate a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Table 2 summarizes the limitations and advantages of these various methods. All these methods are those most widely used for in vitro testing of plant extracts for antibacterial activity, while some other methods are also have been used. For example, Garedew et al. (2004) report on the use of a flow calorimetric method to assess antibacterial activity of honey and demonstrated better sensitivity than other methods and Pitner et al. (2000) propose the use of high throughput systems that measure bacterial respiration via a fluorescent signal. However, the practicality of these methods for screening of plant extracts is yet to be determined.

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