Infectious Diseases: Prevention and Control

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Characterizing virulent Candida albicans from Indian patients and isolating plant products to use as antifungal agents from Indian herbs

A im: The present study was carried out to identify the correlations between oral carriage of Candida in oral pre-cancer and cancer conditions and to explore the antimicrobial activities of selected plant leaves extracts of Lawsonia inermis, Withania somnifer, Curcuma longa, Cymbopogon citrates and Zingiber officinale.

Material & methods: Clinical isolates of C. albicans were obtained from the oral cavity of five different groups. Speciation of Candida was performed by performing germ tube test. Histopathology was done to study hyphae level. Spectrophotometric analysis of SAP level was performed.

Further, leaves extract of ten selected plant prepared in DMSO solution have been chosen for the investigation of in vitro antifungal activity which acts as expectorant and not having toxic properties on humans while for comparison or control, antifungal drugs have been taken.

Results: Hyphae levels and CFU were higher in individuals with leukoplakia and OSCC than in control (P = 0.001). Further, a correlation between CFU, hyphae level and SAP level was also observed at all the stages.

Herbal extracts of Lawsonia inermis, Withania somnifer, Curcuma longa, Cymbopogon citrates and Zingiber officinale gives the best inhibitory effect and they have the potential to control growth of Candida albicans.

Conclusion: The increasing SAP level and hyphae of C. albicans in individuals biopsy tissue of patients with leukoplakia, erythroplakia to OSCC suggests that this pathogen plays a role in disease development and could aid in identifying the pathogenic commensal. Plant products can be useful in treating Candida infection.

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