Mycoplasma species are fastidious bacteria that require a specialized medium for their growth, isolation and identification. There are no standardized tests to evaluate the in vitro susceptibility of mycoplasmas to medicinal plant extracts. A widely used in-broth, microtitre plate, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay was adapted and evaluated using acetone extracts of Anoigeissus leiocarpus on the isolates of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small colony variants (MmmSC). Several problems were encountered including the contamination of the medium by Bacillus species found in plants and the fact that the slow-growing mycoplasmas proved to be poor reducers of the indicator tetrazolium salt or resorcinol. We then examined a pH indicator-dependant technique to detect the acid production caused by the growth of the organism after glucose utilization from the broth medium. The method gives a clear cut-off point that was easy to read and interpret and was also reproducible.
The MIC value for acetone extract of A. leiocarpus was 0.16 mg/ml. The development of this method now makes it possible to evaluate extracts of several plant species for antimycoplasmal activity.