Antifungal activity of phenolic-rich Lavandula multifida L. essential oil

  • M. Zuzarte
  • L. Vale-Silva
  • M. J. Gonçalves
  • C. Cavaleiro
  • S. Vaz
  • J. Canhoto
  • E. Pinto
  • L. Salgueiro


This study evaluates the antifungal activity and mechanism of action of a new chemotype of Lavandula multifida from Portugal. The essential oil was analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal lethal concentration (MLC) of the oil and its major compounds were determined against several pathogenic fungi responsible for candidosis, meningitis, dermatophytosis, and aspergillosis. The influence of the oil on the dimorphic transition in Candida albicans was also studied, as well as propidium iodide (PI) and FUN-1 staining of C. albicans cells by flow cytometry. The essential oil was characterized by high contents of monoterpenes, with carvacrol and cis-β-ocimene being the main constituents. The oil was more effective against dermatophytes and Cryptococcus neoformans, with MIC and MLC values of 0.16 μL/mL and 0.32 μL/mL, respectively. The oil was further shown to completely inhibit filamentation in C. albicans at concentrations below the respective MIC (0.08 μL/mL), with cis-β-ocimene being the main compound responsible for this inhibition (0.02 μL/mL). The flow cytometry results suggest a mechanism of action ultimately leading to cytoplasmic membrane disruption and cell death. L. multifida essential oil may be useful in complementary therapy to treat disseminated candidosis, since the inhibition of filamentation alone appears to be sufficient to treat this type of infection.


Minimal Inhibitory Concentration Antifungal Activity Germ Tube Carvacrol Cryptococcus Neoformans 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work is funded through national funds from FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) under the projects CEF/POCI2010/FEDER and CEQUIMED-PEst-OE/SAU/UI4040/2011, and by a PhD fellowship to Mónica R. Zuzarte (SFRH/BD/40218/2007) and a post-doctoral fellowship to Luís Vale-Silva (SFRH/BPD/29112/2006).


  1. 1.
    Matos F, Miguel MG, Duarte J, Venâncio F, Moiteiro C, Correia AID, Cristina Figueiredo A, Barroso JG, Pedro LG (2009) Antioxidant capacity of the essential oils from Lavandula luisieri, L. stoechas subsp. lusitanica, L. stoechas subsp. lusitanica × L. luisieri and L. viridis grown in Algarve (Portugal). J Essential Oil Res 21:327–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Moon T, Cavanagh HMA, Wilkinson JM (2007) Antifungal activity of Australian grown Lavandula spp. essential oils against Aspergillus nidulans, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Leptosphaeria maculans and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. J Essential Oil Res 19:171–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Roller S, Ernest N, Buckle J (2009) The antimicrobial activity of high-necrodane and other lavender oils on methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA). J Altern Complement Med 15:275–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pavela R (2005) Insecticidal activity of some essential oils against larvae of Spodoptera littoralis. Fitoterapia 76:691–696PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    González-Coloma A, Delgado F, Rodilla JM, Silva L, Sanz J, Burillo J (2011) Chemical and biological profiles of Lavandula luisieri essential oils from western Iberia Peninsula populations. Biochem Syst Ecol 39:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moon T, Wilkinson JM, Cavanagh HMA (2006) Antiparasitic activity of two Lavandula essential oils against Giardia duodenalis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Hexamita inflate. Parasitol Res 99:722–728PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Haig TJ, Haig TJ, Seal AN, Pratley JE, An M, Wu H (2009) Lavender as a source of novel plant compounds for the development of a natural herbicide. J Chem Ecol 35:1129–1136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zuzarte M, Gonçalves MJ, Cavaleiro C, Dinis AM, Canhoto JM, Salgueiro LR (2009) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula pedunculata (Miller) Cav. Chem Biodivers 6:1283–1292PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zuzarte M, Gonçalves MJ, Cavaleiro C, Canhoto J, Vale-Silva L, Silva MJ, Pinto E, Salgueiro L (2011) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula viridis L’Hér. J Med Microbiol 60:612–618PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Upson TM, Andrews S (2004) The genus Lavandula. The Royal Botanical Gardens, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Upson TM, Grayer RJ, Greenham JR, Williams CA, Al-Ghamdi F, Chen FH (2000) Leaf flavonoids as systematic characters in the genera Lavandula and Sabaudia. Biochem Syst Ecol 28:991–1007PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Politi M, De Tommasi N, Pescitelli G, Di Bari L, Morelli I, Braca A (2002) Structure and absolute configuration of new diterpenes from Lavandula multifida. J Nat Prod 65:1742–1745PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sosa S, Altinier G, Politi M, Braca A, Morelli I, Della Loggia R (2005) Extracts and constituents of Lavandula multifida with topical anti-inflammatory activity. Phytomedicine 12:271–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chograni H, Zaouali Y, Rajeb C, Boussaid M (2010) Essential oil variation among natural populations of Lavandula multifida L. (Lamiaceae). Chem Biodivers 7:933–942PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    García-Vallejo MI (1992) Aceites esenciales de las Lavandulas ibéricas: ensayo de la quimiotaxonomía. PhD Dissertation, Universidad Complutense de MadridGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    El-Hilaly J, Hmammouchi M, Lyoussi B (2003) Ethnobotanical studies and economic evaluation of medicinal plants in Taounate province (Northern Morocco). J Ethnopharmacol 86:149–158PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Council of Europe (1997) European pharmacopoeia, 3rd edn. Council of Europe, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Adams RP (1995) Identification of essential oil components by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. Allured Publishing Corporation, Carol Stream, ILGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Joulain D, König WA (1998) The atlas of spectral data of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. E. B. Verlag, HamburgGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) (2008) Reference method for broth dilution antifungal susceptibility testing of yeasts; approved standard M27-A3, 3rd edn. CLSI, Wayne, PAGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) (2008) Reference method for broth dilution antifungal susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi; approved standard M38-A2, 3rd edn. CLSI, Wayne, PAGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Marichal P, Gorrens J, Van Cutsem J, Vanden Bossche H (1986) Culture media for the study of the effects of azole derivatives on germ tube formation and hyphal growth of C. albicans. Mykosen 29:76–81PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Millard PJ, Roth BL, Thi HP, Yue ST, Haugland RP (1997) Development of the FUN-1 family of fluorescent probes for vacuole labeling and viability testing of yeasts. Appl Environ Microbiol 63:2897–2905PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pina-Vaz C, Sansonetty F, Rodrigues AG, Costa-Oliveira S, Tavares C, Martinez-De-Oliveira J (2001) Cytometric approach for a rapid evaluation of susceptibility of Candida strains to antifungals. Clin Microbiol Infect 7:609–618PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Salgueiro LR, Pinto E, Gonçalves MJ, Pina-Vaz C, Cavaleiro C, Rodrigues AG, Palmeira A, Tavares C, Costa-de-Oliveira S, Martinez-de-Oliveira J (2004) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oil of Thymbra capitata. Planta Med 70:572–575PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gonçalves MJ, Cruz MT, Cavaleiro C, Lopes MC, Salgueiro LR (2010) Chemical, antifungal and cytotoxic evaluation of the essential oil of Thymus zygis subsp. sylvestris. Ind Crop Prod 32:70–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Salgueiro LR, Cavaleiro C, Pinto E, Pina-Vaz C, Rodrigues AG, Palmeira A, Tavares C, Costa-de-Oliveira S, Gonçalves MJ, Martinez-de-Oliveira J (2003) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oil of Origanum virens on Candida species. Planta Med 69:871–874PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dorman HJ, Deans SG (2000) Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol 88:308–316PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nostro A, Blanco AR, Cannatelli MA, Enea V, Flamini G, Morelli I, Sudano Roccaro A, Alonzo V (2004) Susceptibility of methicillin-resistant staphylococci to oregano essential oil, carvacrol and thymol. FEMS Microbiol Lett 230:191–195PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tullio V, Nostro A, Mandras N, Dugo P, Banche G, Cannatelli MA, Cuffini AM, Alonzo V, Carlone NA (2007) Antifungal activity of essential oils against filamentous fungi determined by broth microdilution and vapour contact methods. J Appl Microbiol 102:1544–1550PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vale-Silva LA, Gonçalves MJ, Cavaleiro C, Salgueiro L, Pinto E (2010) Antifungal activity of the essential oil of Thymus × viciosoi against Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus and dermatophyte species. Planta Med 76:882–888PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mitchell AP (1998) Dimorphism and virulence in Candida albicans. Curr Opin Microbiol 1:687–692PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Saville SP, Lazzell AL, Bryant AP, Fretzen A, Monreal A, Solberg EO, Monteagudo C, Lopez-Ribot JL, Milne GT (2006) Inhibition of filamentation can be used to treat disseminated candidiasis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 50:3312–3316PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Zuzarte
    • 1
  • L. Vale-Silva
    • 2
  • M. J. Gonçalves
    • 1
  • C. Cavaleiro
    • 1
  • S. Vaz
    • 2
  • J. Canhoto
    • 3
  • E. Pinto
    • 2
  • L. Salgueiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Pharmaceutical Studies, Faculty of Pharmacy, Health Science CampusUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CEQUIMED-UP, Microbiology Service, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Center for Functional EcologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Personalised recommendations