In this study, we screened sixty medicinal plant species from the Brazilian savanna ("cerrado") that could contain useful compounds for the control of tropical diseases. The plant selection was based on existing ethnobotanic information and interviews with local healers. Plant extracts were screened for: (a) molluscicidal activity against Biomphalaria glabrata
, (b) toxicity to brine shrimp ( Artemia salina
L.), (c) antifungal activity in the bioautographic assay with Cladosporium sphaerospermum and (d) antibacterial activity in the agar diffusion assay against Staphylococcus aureus
, Escherichia coli
, Bacillus cereus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Forty-two species afforded extracts that showed some degree of activity in one or more of these bioassays.