The effect of Berhi date extract on the ultrastructure of Candida albicans was studied by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Exposure of yeast to 5% (w/v) date extract showed evidence of weakening in the cell wall with indications of cell distortion and partial collapse in some cases as seen by scanning electron microscopy. Increasing the concentration of date extract (20%, w/v) led to more drastic damage to the yeast with cell lysis and concurrent leakage of cytoplasmic material with eventual cell death. Ultrastructural investigation showed irregular shapes of cells treated with date extract, with prominent effects on cell wall layers. Cell membranes lost their integrity, aggregation of the cytoplasmic contents and large detachment of plasmalemma from cell wall was observed in the treated cells. These results suggest that date extract may have multiple effects on Candida with an increasing potential of using it for prophylaxis purposes.
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