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Curtisia dentata is used in African traditional medicine to treat variety of infections. C. dentata leaves were collected from Buffelskloof Nature Reserve, South Africa. The ethanol, chloroform, ethyl acetate and acetone extracts were evaluated for antimicrobial activity using micro dilution assay against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycoplasma hominis, Candida albicans and some clinical isolates of Moraxella catarrhalis, Proteus mirabilis and Staphylococcus aureus isolated from HIV patient. Acetone extract exhibited lowest MIC of 0.01 mg/ml against Candida albicans compared to other extracts. Besides lupeol, betulinic acid and ursolic acid, β-sitosterol was isolated for the first time from C. dentata leaves and exhibited antimicrobial activity with MIC values ranging from 0.20 to 6.25 mg/ml. Furthermore, the ethanol extract and the four isolated compounds revealed microbicidal effect, with MIC index of less than 4. Ethanol extract revealed the best total activity of 2400 ml/g against Mycoplasma hominis. Cytotoxicity of the isolated compounds was further investigated against the Human embryonic kidney (HEK293) and Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines using the MTT assay. Ursolic acid exhibited the lowest LD50 of 122.4 µg/ml against HEK293 cell line while lupeol exhibited LD50 of 278.8 and 289.4 µg/ml against HEK293 and HepG2 respectively. Lupeol exhibited low selectivity index. Ethyl acetate and acetone extracts were further investigated for antioxidant activity against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). The acetone extract exhibited potent inhibition of DPPH compared to ethyl acetate extract. The findings of the current work validate the use of the plant species in the treatment of various human infections.
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