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Characterization and Antidermatophyte Activity of Henna Extracts: A Promising Therapy for Humans and Animals Dermatophytoses

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Abstract

Dermatophytoses representing a major global health problem and dermatophyte species with reduced susceptibility to antifungals are increasingly reported. Therefore, we investigated for the first time the antidermatophyte activity and phytochemical properties of the sequential extracts of the Egyptian privet Henna (Lawsonia inermis) leaves. Total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoids (TF), and antioxidant activity of chloroform, diethyl ether, acetone, ethanol 80%, and aqueous extracts were evaluated. The antifungal activity of henna leaves extracts (HLE) toward 30 clinical dermatophytes isolates, including Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, and T. rubrum, was determined. Morphological changes in hyphae were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. Following the polarity of ethanol and acetone, they exhibited distinct efficiency for the solubility and extraction of polyphenolic polar antioxidants from henna leaves. Fraxetin, lawsone, and luteolin-3-O-glucoside were the major phenolic compounds of henna leaves, as assessed using high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. A high and significant positive correlation was found between TPC, TF, the antioxidants, and the antidermatophyte activities of HLE. Acetone and ethanol extracts exhibited the highest antifungal activity toward the tested dermatophyte species with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranges 12.5–37.5 and 25–62.5 µg/mL, respectively. Structural changes including collapsing, distortion, inflating, crushing of hyphae with corrugation of walls, and depressions on hyphal surfaces were observed in SEM analysis for dermatophyte species treated with MICs of griseofulvin, acetone, and ethanol extracts. In conclusion, acetone and ethanolic extracts of henna leaves with their major constituent fraxetin exhibited effective antifungal activity toward dermatophyte species and may be developed as an alternative for dermatophytosis treatment. These findings impart a useful insight into the development of an effective and safe antifungal agent for the treatment of superficial fungal infections caused by dermatophytes.

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Data Availability

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MT contributed to the conceptualization, methodology, validation, and supervision. YHT contributed to the conceptualization, methodology, validation, investigation, formal analysis, visualization, writing of the original draft, and reviewing, and editing of the manuscript. SIMAH contributed to resources, data curation, investigation, visualization, and writing of the original draft. MFAE contributed to conceptualization, methodology, investigation, validation, formal analysis, and writing of the original draft.

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Correspondence to Yasmine H. Tartor.

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284_2021_2686_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Calibration curves of reference standards of henna (Lawsonia inermis). Luteolin-3-O-glucosid, Lawsone, Cosmosiin, Gallic acid, 1,4-Naphthoquinone, Fraxetin, para coumaric acid, and Apigenin were the references used for HPLC analysis Supplementary file1 (PDF 2825 KB)

284_2021_2686_MOESM2_ESM.pdf

HPLC chromatograms of acetone extract (A) and ethanol extract (B) of henna leaves. Peak No.1: Luteolin-3-O glucoside, 2: Lawsone, 3: Cosmosiin, 4: gallic acid, 5: 1,4-Naphthoquinone, 6: fraxetin, 7: Para coumaric acid, and 8: Apigenin Supplementary file2 (PDF 372 KB)

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Taha, M., Tartor, Y.H., Abdul-Haq, S.I.M. et al. Characterization and Antidermatophyte Activity of Henna Extracts: A Promising Therapy for Humans and Animals Dermatophytoses. Curr Microbiol 79, 59 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00284-021-02686-4

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