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In vitro antifungal activity of allicin alone and in combination with two medications against Trichophyton rubrum

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Dermatophytes are a group of fungi able to invade keratinized tissues of humans and animals, causing dermatomycosis. Azole antifungal drugs are commonly used in the treatment of dermatomycosis. However, this group of chemicals is known to cause side effects in patients and due to increased use of these medications, azoles are known to cause drug resistance. Having said this, the purpose of the present study was to investigate an alternative anti dermatophyte which is plant based. In this study, allicin, which is a pure bioactive compound isolated from garlic, was tested for its potential as a treatment of dermatomycosis. The study evaluated the in vitro efficacy of pure allicin used alone against ten isolates of Trichophyton rubrum and it was found that the MIC50 and MIC90 ranged from 0.78–25.0 μg/ml, whereas the MIC values for ketoconazole and fluconazole ranged from 0.25–8.0 and 1.0–32.0 μg/ml, respectively, at 28°C for both 7 and 10 days incubation. On the other hand, time–kill studies revealed that the antifungicidal effect of allicin became active within 12–24 h of management in vitro and that it was as good as that of ketoconazole. Finally, most of the tested drug combinations demonstrated synergistic or additive interactions for all isolates for both 7 and 10 days incubation at 28°C. In conclusion, when used alone, allicin showed very good potential as an antifungal compound against mycoses-causing dermatophytes, performing better than the synthetic drug fluconazole and almost as good as ketoconazole. Furthermore, allicin in combination with ketoconazole or with fluconazole frequently showed synergistic or additive interactions against dermatomycosis.

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This study was supported by the Research University Grants Scheme (RUGS) from University Putra Malaysia. We thank Dr Sassan Rezaie, Associate Professor of Department of Medical Mycology in Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran for sending the isolates of dermatophytes used in this investigation.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.

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Correspondence to Umi Kalsom Yusuf.

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Aala, F., Yusuf, U.K., Jamal, F. et al. In vitro antifungal activity of allicin alone and in combination with two medications against Trichophyton rubrum . World J Microbiol Biotechnol 26, 2193–2198 (2010).

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  • Allicin
  • Antifungal drugs
  • Dermatophytes
  • MIC (minimal inhibitory concentration)