European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases

, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 1783-1789

First online:

In vitro fungistatic effects of natural coniferous resin from Norway spruce (Picea abies)

  • M. RautioAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Microbiology, HUSLAB, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS)
  • , A. SipponenAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Päijät-Häme Central Hospital Email author 
  • , J. LohiAffiliated withInstitute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu
  • , K. LounatmaaAffiliated withLounatmaa Ltd., Helsinki
  • , P. Koukila-KähköläAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Microbiology, HUSLAB, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS)
  • , K. LaitinenAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, Laboratory of Microbiology, Hjelt Institute, Helsinki University

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Resins (rosin, pitch) are natural products of the coniferous trees and are antimicrobial against a wide range of microbes. The antifungal effectiveness of resin, purified from Norway spruce (Picea abies), was studied against human pathogenic fungi and yeasts with the agar plate diffusion tests and electron microscopy (EM). The fungistatic effect of these resin mixtures (resin salves) was tested against a set of Candida yeasts, dermatophytes, and opportunistic fungi. Transmission and scanning EM was done from samples of fungi (Trichophyton mentagrophytes). In agar diffusion tests, the resin was strongly antifungal against all dermatophytes tested, e.g., against all fungi of the genus Trichophyton, but it was not antifungal against the Candida yeasts or against the opportunistic fungi tested. According to EM, resin caused damages in the cell hyphae and cell wall structures. We conclude that, in the agar plate diffusion test, coniferous resins are strongly fungistatic against the dermatophytic fungi only.