The extracts and fractions of leaves and branches of Protium hebetatum D. C. Daly (Burseraceae) were investigated for their antibacterial activity and chemical composition. The methanol extract of branches (EMG) was considered active against the Escherichia coli and the Proteus vulgaris, showing an inhibition zone of 13 mm, and was selected for bioassay-guided phytochemical fractionation. From the technique of broth microdilution, the extract was considered a moderate inhibitor against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1 mg/mL. The dichloromethane fraction was considered a moderate inhibitor against S. aureus (MIC of 1 mg/mL) and a potent inhibitor against E. faecalis (MIC of 0.5 mg/mL). F1, F2, F5 and F6 from chromatographic column of dichloromethane fraction were considered moderate inhibitors against S. aureus (MIC of 1 mg/mL). Through analysis by a gas chromatography mass spectrometry, eighteen compounds were identified, from which thirteen (isoeugenol, p-vinylguaiacol, metoxyeugenol, coumarin, 5-hydroxy-scopoletin, 4,7-dihydroxy-6-metoxicromam-2-one, 4[(1E]-3-hydroxy-1-propenyl)-2-methoxyphenol, piperonal, scoparon, o-guaiacol, spathulenol, seringol and antiarol) are unprecedented in these species. We also identified the triterpenes α-amyrin and β-amyrin, the steroids stigmasterol and sitosterol and the coumarin scopoletin, which was closely linked to the antibacterial activity of the samples.
Protium hebetatum; antibacterial activity; coumarins; Staphylococcus aureus; Enterococcus faecalis