SCREENING METHODS: TESTING

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TESTING

Antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST) is used to determine the efficacy of potential antimicrobials from natural products against a number of microorganisms. In clinical research, in vitro susceptibility tests are important if an organism is suspected toward resistance to frequently used antimicrobial agents. Today, numerous standard methods, approved by different organization like the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Science (NCCLS), British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) and the European Committee for Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (EUCAST), for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of conventional drugs. A group of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, virus, protozoan’s and helminthes are used for screening of plant extracts.

Evaluation of the performance of a susceptibility test should have ease to use, reproducibility, test sensitivity and specificity (Struelens et al., 1995). AST standard tests can be conveniently divided into diffusion and dilution methods. Common diffusion tests include agar well diffusion, agar disk diffusion and bioautography, while dilution methods include agar dilution and broth micro or macrodilution. In addition to this, other commercial custom-prepared methods viz. the agar screen plate, Epsilometer test and the Vitek system are used as standard reference methods but these are not common in routine AST for testing activity of plant extracts (Joyce et al., 1992).

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