Antifungal activity of phenolic-rich Lavandula multifida L. essential oil
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.
KeywordsMinimal Inhibitory Concentration Antifungal Activity Germ Tube Carvacrol Cryptococcus Neoformans
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).
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