Affiliation: Chemical and Bioactivity Information Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon.
Mycobacterial infections (particularly, tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis) represent a significant threat to public health, especially south of the Sahara. The problem has been compounded by poor patient compliance due to long periods of treatment, thus resulting in the development of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drugresistant (XDR) forms the of bacterium. It has, therefore, become imperative to seek new drugs from unexplored sources against these infections. Natural products, from ancient times, have often been used as drugs for the treatment of various ailments. They have also served as templates for the design and synthesis of new drugs. In sub-Saharan Africa particularly, ethnobotanical and ethnomedical knowledge of plants has been exploited to manage several different ailments, including tuberculosis. Thus research efforts have often been concentrated on plants as a source of treatment of diseases as well as drug leads. In this mini review, we report the biological activities of compounds derived from African medicinal plants with the potential for the treatment of anti-mycobacterial infections. Seventy nine (79) antimycobacterial compounds have been identified in sub-Sahara Africa covering the period from 1995 to 2013.