Antifungal activity, brine shrimp cytotoxicity and phytochemical screening of gladiolus watsonoides baker (iridaceae)
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Plants and plant products are by far the most utilized by humans as source of medicine. They are used by various cultures in various ways. Although the beginning of the usage was by trial and error, accessibility may have also contributed to some potentially medicinal plants not being accessed and utilized, hence lack of ethnomedicinal usage in histor y . Gladiolus watsonoides Baker (iridaceae) is one such plant with high antifungal and cytotoxic activities yet no previous reports have been recorded on its usage, biological activities and phytochemicals. The aim of this study was to investigate the antifungal activit y , cytotoxicity and the phytochemical components in this plant. Method: Organic and aqueous extracts were tested for antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and Cryptococcus neoformans by disc diffusion method. Toxicity tests were done using brine shrimp larvae – nauplii and phytochemical screening for the presence of selected classes of compounds conducted by standard chemical procedures. Results: Corms from Organic extracts showed moderate to high antifungal activity against the three test opportunistic fungi. The aerial extracts were not active against Aspergillus niger and Cryptococcus neoformans . Varied toxicity levels were noted against the nauplii. Amongst the classes of compounds screened, only steroids were absent in corms while glycosides, anthraquinones and steroids were absent in the aerials. Conclusion: Further analysis need to be undertaken before more conclusions can be made on the potential significance of this plant as lead to antifungal drug development.