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Antifungal activity from Ocimum gratissimum L. towards Cryptococcus neoformans

Author(s): Janine de Aquino Lemos | Xisto Sena Passos | Orionalda de Fátima Lisboa Fernandes | José Realino de Paula | Pedro Henrique Ferri | Lúcia Kioko Hasimoto e Souza | Aline de Aquino Lemos | Maria do Rosário Rodrigues Silva

Journal: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz.
ISSN 0074-0276

Volume: 100;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 55;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Ocimum gratissimum | essential oil | eugenol | Cryptococcus neoformans

Cryptococcal infection had an increased incidence in last years due to the explosion of acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemic and by using new and effective immunosuppressive agents. The currently antifungal therapies used such as amphotericin B, fluconazole, and itraconazole have certain limitations due to side effects and emergence of resistant strains. So, a permanent search to find new drugs for cryptococcosis treatment is essential. Ocimum gratissimum, plant known as alfavaca (Labiatae family), has been reported earlier with in vitro activity against some bacteria and dermatophytes. In our work, we study the in vitro activity of the ethanolic crude extract, ethyl acetate, hexane, and chloroformic fractions, essential oil, and eugenol of O. gratissimum using an agar dilution susceptibility method towards 25 isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. All the extracts of O. gratissimum studied showed activity in vitro towards C. neoformans. Based on the minimal inhibitory concentration values the most significant results were obtained with chloroformic fraction and eugenol. It was observed that chloroformic fraction inhibited 23 isolates (92%) of C. neoformans at a concentration of 62.5 µg/ml and eugenol inhibited 4 isolates (16%) at a concentration of 0.9 µg/ml. This screening may be the basis for the study of O. gratissimum as a possible antifungal agent.

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