Objective: Bacterial infection with organisms resistant to antibiotics have increased during the last few decades worldwide. Because of this increase, the authors decided to subject the essential oils from the stem, leaves and fruits of the four native Jamaica species of Bursera to microbial studies.
Methods: Steam distillate extracts from different parts of four native Jamaican spp of Bursera simaruba (Red Birch), Bursera lunanii (Black Birch), Bursera hollickii and Bursera aromatica (Siboney) were tested for their antibacterial activity against six common pathogens: Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylocococcus aureus, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and beta-haemolytic Streptococcus group A (BHSA) using a disk diffusion assay.
Results: The investigation revealed that extracts from two of the four plants tested were active against all the pathogens. These were extracts from the fruits and stems of B simaruba and those from the fruit of B lunanii.
Conclusion: This study gives credence to the ongoing search for locally available plants whose extracts possess significant antimicrobial activity. This may be useful in the development of naturally derived pharmaceuticals.