Submit manuscript...
Journal of
eISSN: 2373-437X

Microbiology & Experimentation

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 1

Antibacterial Potentials of Adiantum Species against the UTI Pathogens

Johnson M,1 Jeevas ,2 Mahesh M,3 Janakiraman N4

1Department of Botany, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), India
2Department of Botany, Scott Christian College, India
3Department of Botany, Nesamony Memorial Christian College, India
4Department of Botany, Sri Paramakalyani College, India

Correspondence: Johnson M, Department of Botany, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Centre for Plant Biotechnology, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, India, Tel 91 97869 24334, Fax 91 462 2561765

Received: February 18, 2016 | Published: February 21, 2017

Citation: Johnson M, Jeevas, Mahesh M, Janakiraman N (2017) Antibacterial Potentials of Adiantum Species against the UTI Pathogens. J Microbiol Exp 4(1): 00104. DOI: 10.15406/jmen.2017.04.00104

Download PDF



The present study was aimed to screen the anti-bacterial properties of medicinally important ferns viz., Adiantum caudatum L., Adiantum latifolium Lam. and Adiantum lunulatum Burm against the selected UTI pathogens. Anti-bacterial study was carried out by disc diffusion method against the pathogens viz., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus maximum degree of antibacterial activity was observed in A. latifolium followed by A. caudatum whereas A. lunulatum showed comparatively less degree of antibacterial activity. Further work will accentuate the isolation and characterization of active principles responsible for bio-efficacy.

Keywords: Bio-efficacy; Pteridophytes; Phytochemistry


Ferns are distributed abundantly in various habitats of the world. Globally, the floristic wealth of pteriodphytes is recorded with 12,000 species [1]. Like flowering plants, pteridophytes are also used by tribals in India, China, Philippines and other countries of the world for medicinal utility. As folk medicine, the pteridophytes are known to man for more than 2000 years [2-5]. May [6] published a detailed review of the various uses of ferns and listed 105 medicinal ferns. In a recent compilation, Singh [7] reported 160 species of useful pteridophytes in India on the basis of phytochemical, pharmacological and ethnobotanical studies. It has been observed that pteridophytes are not infected by microbial pathogens, which may be one of the important factors for the evolutionary success of pteridophytes and the fact that they survived for more than 350 million years. A systematic survey of the antibiotic activity of pteridophytes has been scarcely undertaken. The antimicrobial potential of some ferns has been studied by previous researchers [8-15]. Khare [16] & Vasudeva [17] discussed the traditional uses of some potential Adiantum species for the treatment of various infectious diseases. Because of increasing resistance to antibiotics by many bacteria, plant extracts are of new interest as antiseptics and antimicrobial agents [18]. The whole plants of A. caudatum possess antibacterial, hypoglycaemic antispasmodic and antiasthmatic properties. The leaves of A. caudatum are used for cough and fever. A. latifolium has been used in Latin American traditional medicine as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Nonato et al. [19] confirmed the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities ofA. latifolium. Amrutha Lakshmi [20] also confirmed the antimicrobial properties of A. latifolium. Compounds derived from A. lunulatum have been shown antibacterial activity against Gram positive and negative bacteria [21] and anti-fertility on reproductive organs of male albino rats. Parihar & Bohra [22] screened the anti-salmonella activity of three species of Adiantum from Rajasthan. Parihar & Parihar [23] examined the anti-bacterial activity of three species of Adiantum. Parihar et al. [24] studied the anti-bacterial activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of thirteen species of pteridophytes. Of which A. lunulatum, A. incisum and A. capillus-veneris are also included. With this knowledge, the present study was undertaken to screen the antibacterial potential of Adiantum caudatum L., Adiantum latifolium Lam. and Adiantum lunulatum Burm against the selected UTI pathogens.

Materials and Methods

Healthy, disease free whole plants of Adiantum caudatum L., Adiantum latifolium Lam. and Adiantum lunulatum Burm were harvested from wild. The whole plants were air and shade dried for two weeks at room temperature (30˚C) and pulverized to powder using mechanical grinder. The powered materials (50 g) were extracted with 300 ml of acetone and methanol (1:6 ratios) using Soxhlet extractor for 8 h at a temperature not exceeding the boiling point of the solvent. The crude extracts were filtered using What-man filter paper (No. 1) and then concentrated in vacuum at 40°C using rotary evaporator. The residues obtained were stored in a freezer until further tests. Anti-bacterial studies were carried out by disc diffusion method [25] against the UTI pathogens viz., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus. 30 µl = 30µg (1mg/ml) of crude extracts of selected Adiantum species were loaded aseptically on a sterile disc of diameter 5 mm (made from What-man No. 1 filter paper previously sterilized in autoclave). The plant extract loaded discs were placed over the seeded agar plates. The antibiotic amikacin (30μg/disc) was used as standard for bacteria to compare its effect on test organisms with the plant extracts. The plates were kept at room temperature for 2h to allow diffusion of the test solution into the agar; they were incubated for 24h at 37°C. After the incubation period was over, the plates were observed for zone of inhibition measured in millimeters (mm). The inhibition zone and anti-bacterial activity against the pathogenic bacteria were recorded. The experiments were repeated in triplicates and the results were documented.


The acetone and methanolic extract of all the selected Adiantum species showed the antibacterial activity against three UTI bacterial pathogens with varied frequency (Table 1). The methanolic extracts of selected Adiantum species exhibited maximum zone of inhibition against the studied UTI pathogens (Table 1). The methanolic extracts of A. lunulatum demonstrated 14 .7 ± 0.37 mm zone of inhibition against S. aureus. The methanolic extracts of Adiantum latifolium displayed the maximum zone of inhibition with 16.2 ± 0.46 mm against E. coli, similarly the methanolic extracts of A. caudatum illustarted the maximum zone of inhibition (17.4 ± 0.56 mm) against K. pneumoniae (Table 1).


Zone of Inhibition in Mm

Adiantum Caudatum

Adiantum Latifolium

Adiantum Lunulatum








Escherichia coli

9.1 ± 0.67

12.3 ± 0.38

13.9± 0.36

16.2 ± 0.46

7.3 ± 0.21

11.3 ± 0.39


Klebsiella pneumoniae

14.2 ± 0.83

17.4 ± 0.56

12.4± 0.34

13.4 ± 0.38

8.4 ± 0.34

12.4 ± 0.42


Staphylococcus aureus

9.4 ± 0.42

11.3 ± 0.71

8.7 ± 0.52

13.6 ± 0.47

7.2 ± 0.23

14 .7 ± 0.37


Table 1:Antibacterial activity of Adiantum species against pathogenic strains.


There are some reports on Phytochemistry and pharmacology of pteridophytes from Western Ghats of Tirunelveli hills, but there is no report on Western Ghats of Kerala [11,15,26,27]. Many naturally occurring compounds found in plants have been shown to possess antimicrobial functions and could serve as a source of both traditional and orthodox medicine [28]. Plant derived natural products such as phenolics, tannins, steroids, saponins etc. have received considerable attention in recent years due to their diverse pharmacological properties including antioxidant and antitumor activity. The degree of antibacterial activity of the selected ferns was as follows: A. latifolium > A. caudatum > A. lunulatum. The antibacterial potentials of the studied three maiden hair ferns may be due to the occurrence of phenolics, tannins, saponins and steroids. The occurrence of metabolites was confirmed by Mithraja et al. [29]. The results of the present study also correlated with the phytochemical observations of Mithraja et al. In the present study, we examined the anti-bacterial activity of A. caudatum, A. latifolium and A. lunulatum. The results of the present study supplemented the previous studies on the bio-efficacy of pteridophytes. Further research on these plants was recommended to quantify the concentration of active compounds. It will accentuate the isolation and characterization of active principles responsible for bio-efficacy and bioactivity.


  1. Antony RS, Khan AE, Thomas J (2000) Rare, endangered and threatened ferns from Chemunji hills, Kerala. J Econ & Tax Bot 24: 413-415.
  2. Nayar BK (1957) Medicinal Ferns of India. Bulletin of Nat Bot Gard 29: 1-36.
  3. Kumar A, Roy SK (1972) Some medicinal ferns from Neterhat hills (Bihar). J Sci Res 23: 139-142.
  4. Dixit RD, Bhatt GK (1975) Ferns - a much neglected group of medicinal plants. J Res Ind Med 10(3): 68-76.
  5. Sharma BD, Vyas MS (1985) Ethanobotanical studies on the fern and fern allies of Rajasthan. Bulletin Bot Sur India 27(1-4): 90-91.
  6. May LW (1978) The economic uses and associated folklore of ferns and fern allies. Bot Rev 44(4): 491-528.
  7. Singh HB (1999) Potential medicinal Pteridophytes of India and their chemical constituents. J Econ & Tax Bot23(1): 63-78.
  8. Parihar P, Bohra A (2002) Antifungal efficacy of various Pteriodophytic plant parts: a study in vitro. Adv Plant Sci15(1): 35-38.
  9. Parihar P, Bohra A (2003) Effect of some Pteridophytic plant extracts on human pathogenic bacteria - Salmonella typhi. Indian Fern J 20: 39-41.
  10. Ibraheim ZZ, Ahmed AS, Gouda YG (2011) Phytochemical and biological studies of Adiantum capillus-veneris L. Saudi Pharm J 19(2): 65-74.
  11. Irudayaraj V, Janaky M, Johnson M, Selvan N (2010) Preliminary Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Studies on a Spike-Moss Selaginella inaequalifolia (Hook. & Grev.) Spring. Asian Pac J Trop Med3(2): 957-960.  
  12. Haripriya D, Selvan N, Jeyakumar N, Periasamy R, Johnson M, Irudayaraj V (2010) The effect of extracts of Selaginella involvens and Selaginella inaequalifolia leaves on poultry pathogens. Asian Pac J Trop Med 3(9): 678-681.
  13. Dalli AK, Saha G, Chakraborty U (2007) Chracterization of Antimicrobial compounds from a common fern, Pteris biaurita. Ind J Expt Biol 45: 285-290.  
  14. Paul Raj K, Irudayaraj V, Johnson M, Patric Raja D (2011) Phytochemical and anti-bacterial activity of epidermal glands extract of Christella parasitica (L.) H. Lev. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 1(1): 8-11.
  15. Sahayaraj K, Borgio JAF, Raju G (2009) Antifungal activity of three fern extracts on causative agents of groundnut early leaf spot and rust diseases. J Plant Protect Res 49 (2): 141-144.
  16. Khare PB (1996) Ferns and fern allies - their significance and fantasies. Applied Botany Abstracts 16(1): 50-63.
  17. Vasudeva SM (1999) Economic importance of pteridophytes. Indian Fern J 16: 130-152.
  18. Alipour M, Khanmohammadi O (2011) Antibacterial activity of plant extracts against oral and skin pathogens. Afr J Microbiol Res5(19): 2909-2911.
  19. Nonato FR, Nogueira TM, Barros TA, Lucchese AM, Oliveira CE, et al. (2011) Antinociceptive and antiinflammatory activities of Adiantum latifolium Lam.: evidence for a role of IL-1β inhibition. J Ethnopharmacol 136(3): 518-24.
  20. Amrutha Lakshmi P, Kalavathi P, Pullaiah T (2007) Phytochemical and antimicrobial studies of Adiantum latifolium. J Trop Med Plants 7(1).
  21. Reddy VL, Ravikanth V, Rao TP, Diwan PV, Venkateswarlu Y (2001) A new triterpenoid from the fern Adiantum lunulatum and evaluation of antibacterial activity. Phytochemistry 56(2): 173-175.
  22. Parihar P and Bohra A (2004) Anti-salmonella activity of three species of Adiantum found in Rajasthan. Ind J Fern 21: 136-139.
  23. Parihar P and Parihar L (2006) Antimicrobial characteristics of three species of Adiantum. Ind Fern J 23: 35-42.
  24. Parihar P, Parihar L, Bohra A (2010) In vitro anti-bacterial activity of fronds (Leaves) of some important Pteridophytes. J Microbiol and Antimicrobial. 2(2): 19-22.
  25. Wayne PA (2002) NCCLS (National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards): Methods for dilution antimicrobial susceptibility tests of bacteria that grow aerobically. NCCLS. India, M100-S12.
  26. Manikam VS, Benniamin A, Irudayaraj V (2005) Antibacterial activity of leaf extracts of Christella paracitica (L.) Lev. Indian Fern J 87-88.
  27. Karpagavinayagam C, Irudayaraj V Johnson M (2010) Preliminary survey on herbivory in south Indian ferns. J Basic & Applied Biol 4(1&2): 137-143.
  28. Akinyemi KO, Oluwa OK, Omomigbehin EO (2007) Antimicrobial activity of crude extracts of three medicinal plants in south-western Nigeria folk medicine on some food-borne bacterial pathogens. African Journal of Traditional 3(4): 13-22.
  29. Mithraja MJ, Johnson M, Mahesh M, Miller Paul Z, Jeeva S (2012) Inter-specific variation studies on the phyto-constituents of Christella and Adiantum using phytochemical methods. Asian Pac J Trop Biome. S40-S45.
Creative Commons Attribution License

©2017 Johnson, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.