Antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities of secondary metabolites of an endophytic fungus isolated from Ageratum conyzoides

  • Nonye T. Ujam Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Peter M. Eze Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
  • Chidimma R. Chukwunwejim Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Festus B. Okoye Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
  • Charles O. Esimone Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
Keywords: Ageratum conyzoides, Endophytic fungus, Antimicrobial activity, Immunomodulatory activity


Endophytes have proven to be the promising sources of biologically active products which are of interest for specific medicinal applications. In this study, secondary metabolites of an endophytic fungus isolated from fresh leaves of Ageratum conyzoides was investigated for antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. Isolation of the endophytic fungus, fermentation and extraction of the fungal secondary metabolites were carried out using standard procedures.  The extract was evaluated for antimicrobial activity using the agar well diffusion and agar dilution methods. Also, the immunomodulatory activity of the extract was evaluated using cyclophosphamide‑induced immunosuppression assay. The crude fungal extract was subjected to High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Diode Array Detector (HPLC-DAD) analysis to identify the chemical constituents. The endophytic fungal extract at 1 mg/ml, exhibited antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella Typhi, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger with inhibition zone diameters of 8, 5, 3 and 2 mm respectively. Also, the minimum inhibitory concentrations of the extract against the test organisms ranged from 0.03-1 mg/ml. The extract at 100 and 200 mg/kg, showed immune-stimulatory activity in a dose related manner with a significant increase in the total white blood cells and neutrophil levels. The extract also exhibited immune-protective properties by inhibiting the immune-suppressive activity of cyclophosphamide. HPLC-DAD revealed the presence of xanthorrhizol, orsellinic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, scalarolide reported previously to have antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. The secondary metabolites of the endophytic fungus isolated from A. conyzoides displayed both antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities.



1. Pimentel MR, Molina G, Dionisio AP, Maróstica MR, Pastore GM. Use of endophytes to obtain bioactive compounds and their application in biotransformation process. Biotechnol Res Int. 2011: ID 576286.

2. Singh R, Dubey AK. Endophytic actinomycetes as emerging source for therapeutic compounds. Indo Global J Pharm Sci. 2015; 5: 106-116.

3. Abonyi DO, Eze PM, Abba CC, Ujam NT, Proksch P, Okoye FBC, Esimone CO. Biologically active phenolic acids produced by Aspergillus sp., an endophyte of Moringa oleifera. Eur J Biol Res. 2018; 8(3): 158-168.

4. Adebayo AH, Tan NH, Akindahunsi AA, Zeng GZ, Zhang YM. Anticancer and antiradical scavenging activity of Ageratum conyzoides L. (Asteraceae). Phcog Mag. 2010; 6: 62-66.

5. Kamboj A, Saluja AK. Ageratum conyzoides L. A review of its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. Int J Green Pharm. 2008; 2: 59-68.

6. Igbinosa EO, Eribo OA. Combination of Ageratum conyzoides leaf extracts with antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from wound infection. J Med Biomed Res. 2015; 14(2): 88-95.

7. Ndip RN, Ajonglefac AN, Wirna T, Luma HN, Wirmum C, Efange SM. In-vitro antimicrobial activity of Ageratum conyzoides (Linn) on clinical isolates of Helicobacter pylori. Afr J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009; 3: 585-592.

8. Budiman A, Azizah AN, Insan SK. Antibacterial activity of Ageratum conyzoides L. Extract in gel dosage forms against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acne. J Pharm Res. 2018; 12: 584-588.

9. Ming LC. Ageratum conyzoides: A tropical source of medicinal and agricultural products. In: Janick J. Perspectives on new crops and new uses. Alexandria VA: ASHS Press. 1999: 469-473.

10. Panda SK, Luyten W. Antiparasitic activity in Asteraceae with special attention to ethnobotanical use by the tribes of Odisha, India. Parasite. 2018; 25: 10.

11. Tanvir R, Sajid I, Hasnain S. Biotechnological potential of endophytic actinomycetes associated with Asteraceae plants: isolation, biodiversity and bioactivities. Biotechnol Lett. 2014; 36(4): 767-773.

12. Tanvir R, Sajid I, Hasnain S. Larvicidal potential of Asteraceae family endophytic actinomycetes against Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito larvae. Nat Prod Res. 2014; 28(22): 2048-2052.

13. Nabilah S, Sunaryanto R, Syamsu K. Optimization of Penicillium lagena medium cultivication on antifungal pathogen of Phellinus lamaoensis using surface method. Teknik. 2017; 38(2): 58-64.

14. Yuliar, Suciatmih, Supriyati D, Rahmansyah M. Biodiversity of endophytic bacteria and their antagonistic activity to Rhizoctonia solani and Fusarium oxysporium. Global J Biol Agric Health Sci. 2013; 2(4): 111-118.

15. Eze PM, Ojimba NK, Abonyi DO, Chukwunwejim CR, Abba CC, Okoye FBC, Esimone CO. Antimicrobial activity of metabolites of an endophytic fungus isolated from the leaves of Citrus jambhiri (Rutaceae). Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2018; 2(3): 145-149.

16. Akpotu MO, Eze PM, Abba CC, Umeokoli BO, Nwachukwu CU, Okoye FBC, Esimone CO. Antimicrobial activities of secondary metabolites of endophytic fungi isolated from Catharanthus roseus. J Health Sci. 2017; 7(1): 15-22.

17. Augustine BB, Dash S, Lahkar M, Amara VR, Samudrala PK, Thomas JM. Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of ethyl acetate extract of Leucas aspera in Swiss albino mice. Int J Green Pharm. 2014; 8: 84-89.

18. Castillo U, Harper JK, Strobel GA, Sears J, Alesi K, Ford E, et al. Kakadumycins, novel antibiotics from Streptomyces sp. NRRL 30566, an endophyte of Grevillea pteridifolia. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003; 224(2): 183-190.

19. Kusari S, Lamshoft M, Zuhlke S, Spiteller M. An endophytic fungus from Hypericum perforatum that produces hypericin. J Nat Prod. 2008; 71(2): 159-162.

20. Harper JK, Arif AM, Ford EJ, Strobel GA, Porco JA Jr. Tomer DP, et al. Pestacin: a 1,3-dihydro isobenzofuran from Pestalotiopsis microspora possessing antioxidant and antimycotic activities. Tetrahedron. 2003; 59(14): 2471-2476.

21. Strobel G, Ford E, Worapong J, Harper JK, Arif AM, Grant DM, et al. Isopestacin, an isobenzofuranone from Pestalotiopsis microspora, possessing antifungal and antioxidant activities. Phytochemistry. 2002; 60(2): 179-183.

22. Wall ME, Wani MC, Cook CE, Palmer KH, McPhail AT, Sim GA. Plant antitumor agents. I. The isolation and structure of camptothecin, a novel alkaloidal leukemia and tumor inhibitor from Camptotheca acuminate. J Am Chem Soc. 1996; 88(16): 3888-3890.

23. Gangadevi V, Muthumary J. Taxol, an anticancer drug produced by an endophytic fungus Bartalinia robillardoides Tassi, isolated from a medicinal plant, Aegle marmelos Correa ex Roxb. World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008; 24(5): 717-724.

24. Gangadevi V, Muthumary J. Isolation of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, a novel endophytic taxol-producing fungus from the leaves of a medicinal plant, Justicia gendarussa. Mycologia Balcanica. 2008; 5: 1-4

25. Guo B, Dai J, Ng S, Huang Y, Leong C, Ong W, Carte BK. Cytonic acids A and B: novel tridepside inhibitors of hCMV protease from the endophytic fungus Cytonaema species. J Nat Prod. 2000; 63: 602-604.

26. Demain AL. Microbial natural products: a past with a future. In: Wrigley SK, Hayes MA, Thomas R, Chrystal EJT, Nicholson N, edrs. Biodiversity: new leads for pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry 2000: 3-16.

27. Findlay JA, Li G, Johnson JA. Bioactive compounds from an endophytic fungus from eastern larch (Larix laricina) needles. Can J Chem. 1997; 75(6): 716-719.

28. Morris HJ, Marcos J, Llaurado G, Fontaine R, Tamayo V, Garcia N, Bermudez RC. Immunomodulating effects of hot-water extract from Pleurotus ostreatus mycelium on cyclophosphamide treated mice. Micologia Apllicada Int. 2003; 15(1): 713.

29. Sheeja K, Kuttan G. Ameliorating effects of Andrographis paniculata extract against cyclophosphamide induced toxicity in mice. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2006; 7: 609-614.

30. Sultana R, Khanam S, Devi K. Immunomodulatory effect of methanol extract of Solanum xanthocarpum fruits. Int J Pharma Sci Res. 2011; 2(2): 93-97.

31. Ding S, Jiang H, Fang J. Regulation of immune function by polyphenols. J Immunol Res. 2018: ID 1264074.

32. Grigore A. Plant phenolic compounds as immunomodulatory agents. In: Soto-Hernandez M, Palma-Tenango M, del Rosario Garcia-Mateos M. Phenolic compounds - biological activity. IntechOpen, 2017: 75-98.

33. Tan BKH, Vanitha J. Immunomodulatory and antimicrobial effects of some traditional Chinese medicinal herbs: a review. Curr Med Chem. 2004; 11: 1423-1430.

34. Robbins RJ. Phenolic acids in foods: an overview of analytical methodology. J Agric Food Chem. 2003; 51: 2866-2887.

35. Manuja R, Sachdeva S, Jain A, Chaudhary JMM. A comprehensive review on biological activities of p-hydroxy benzoic acid and its derivatives. Int J Pharmac Sci Review Res. 2013; 22(2): 109-115.

36. Seok FO, Meenakshii N, Thiam TT, Shamarina S, Nur KK, Mohd SS, Yew HC. Xanthorrhizol: a review of its pharmacological activities and anticancer properties. Cancer Cell Int. 2015; 15: 100.
How to Cite
Ujam, N., Eze, P., Chukwunwejim, C., Okoye, F., & Esimone, C. (2019). Antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities of secondary metabolites of an endophytic fungus isolated from Ageratum conyzoides. Current Life Sciences, 5(1), 19-27. Retrieved from
Research Articles