Fungal Contamination of Some Medicinal Plant Materials Sold at Omdurman Local Market, Khartoum State, Central Sudan
Plants have long been used as herbal medicines in many countries. However, microbial contamination of these medicines may affect human health. In the present study fifteen medicinal plants namely, Acacia nilotica ssp. nilotica, Trigonella foenum-greacum, Nigella sativa, Hyphaene thebaica, Nauclea latifola, Cyperus rotundus, Cymbopogon schoenanthus spp, proximus, Artemisia herba-alb, Cassia acutifolia, Solenostemma argel, Tamarindus indica, Ziziphus spina-christi, Lepidium sativum, Foeniculum vulgare and Coriandrum sativum were evaluated for their fungal contamination. The pour plate method was used to cultivate serially diluted portions of the medicinal plant material investigated. The colonies of fungi were identified morphologically according to form and pigment. They were observed microscopically through Lactophenol cotton bluestaining. The identified fungal isolates were consist of three fungal species, the most dominant fungi were Aspergillus nigar and Aspergillus flavus. Penicillium ssp is least one. The total fungal counts ranged from 00x101 cfu/g (Cymbopogon schoenanthus spp.proximus, Trigonella foenum-greacum, Artemisia herba alb, Lepidium satinum , Nigella sativa Cassia acutifolia and Naucle latifola) to 11x105cfu/g (Cyperus rotundus).. The highest total fungal load was found in Cyperus rotundus The levels of contamination varied greatly between the commercially available plant samples investigated.
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