Comparison of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of two cultivated Cistus species from Tunisia


  • Hela Mahmoudi Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Chedia Aouadhi Institut Pasteur de Tunis
  • Rym Kaddour Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Margaret Gruber Saskatoon Research Centre
  • Hanene Zargouni Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Wafa Zaouali Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Nesrine Ben Hamida Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Mouhiba Ben Nasri Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Zeineb Ouerghi Université Farhat Hachhad El Mana
  • Karim Hosni Institut National de Recherche et d’Analyse Physico-Chimique



Antifungal activity, Antioxidant activity, Cistus monspeliensis


The secondary metabolite composition, antioxidant activities, and microbial inhibition properties of leaves of two Cistus species; C. monspeliensis and C. salvifolius were investigated using three solvent extracts (ethanol, hexane and distilled water). Ethanol extracts were most efficient at extracting phenolics, flavonoids and condensed tannins compared to hexane and distilled water for both Cistus species. A total antioxidant test (TAA) and two radical scavenging tests (DPPH and ABTS) indicated that the 70% ethanolic extract from C. salvifolius leaves had stronger antioxidant activity compared to the C. monspeliensis 70%  ethanol extract, while the aqueous extract of C. monspeliensis was much stronger than the aqueous extract or the 70%  ethanol extract of C. salvifolius. Overall, the polar extracts were more active in both species than the non-polar extracts. Thus aqueous ethanol extracts of the leaves of each Cistus species were tested for their ability to inhibit seven pathogenic microbial strains, including Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Salmonella typhimurium NCTC 6017, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213, Enterococcus faecalis, Aspergillus niger, and Candida albicans. Leaf ethanol extracts from both species were active against each microbial species, but the C. monspeliensis leaf ethanolic extract was much more active against several microbial species than that of C. salvifolius. For example, the C. salvifolius 70% ethanol extract showed its highest antimicrobial activity against P. aeruginosa and A. niger (MIC 3.1 mg/ml and MBC 6.3 mg/ml for both), while the C. monspeliensis extract showed much higher overall activity against E. coli, P. aeruginosa and C. albicana. (MIC 6.25 mg/ml and MBC 12.5 mg/ml for all three). In conclusion, maceration with 70% ethanol was the most efficient method for extracting total polyphenols, flavonoids, and condensed tannins from the two Cistus species, and the aqueous-ethanol extracts displayed the highest antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Hence, the aqueous-ethanolic extracts of both species may be considered as potential sources of natural antioxidants and antimicrobial agents.


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How to Cite

MAHMOUDI, H., AOUADHI, C., KADDOUR, R., GRUBER, M., ZARGOUNI, H., ZAOUALI, W., BEN HAMIDA, N., BEN NASRI, M., OUERGHI, Z. and HOSNI, K., 2016. Comparison of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of two cultivated Cistus species from Tunisia . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 226–237. [Accessed13 April 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v32n1a2016-30208. Available from:



Biological Sciences