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*Lennox J. A., John G. E. and Egbuna E. I.


Multidrug resistant bacteria are causing serious problems in treatment of bacterial infectious diseases using the orthodox drugs, hence the need to source for alternative remedies from natural plants. Carica papaya (pawpaw) is one of the plants that may have the potential to treat bacterial infections. Unripe fruits and leaves of C. papaya (pawpaw) were harvested and put in sterile polythene bag and transported to the Microbiology Laboratory, University of Calabar. The extraction of the active components of pawpaw leaves and fruits were carried out using ethanol, methanol and aqueous methods. The phytochemical components of the plant parts were also determined using standard analytical methods. The antibacterial properties of the fruits and leaves of the pawpaw using standard microbiological Methods against the bacterial isolates, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus, aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes Streptococcus pyogenes and Campylobacter sp. were carried out. Agar disk diffusion method was used. The phytochemical analyses showed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, steroids, flavonoids, saponins, and phenols. The antibacterial activities of the plant parts showed a broad spectrum activities against the test bacteria with zones of inhibition ranging from 0.5 mm to 40 mm at 5 mg/ml to 20 mg/ml concentration of the extracts. The highest inhibition zone of 40±0.03 mm was recorded by the ethanol leaves extract against Pseudomonas aeruginosa while for the unripe fruits extracts, the highest inhibition zones at 20 mg/ml were 36±0.03 mm and 31±0.01 mm against Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes respectively. This means eating pawpaw can prevent or treat common bacteria infections.

Keywords: Carica papaya; Phytochemical constituents; Antibacterial activities; pawpaw, agar diffusion, zones of inhibition, active components.

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