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Planta Med. 2015 Sep;81(14):1277-84. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1546272. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Antifungal Effect of Essential Oils against Fusarium Keratitis Isolates.

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University of Szeged, Faculty of Science and Informatics, Department of Microbiology, Szeged, Hungary.
Institute of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Microbiology, Imphal, Manipur, India.
M. R. Government Arts College, Department of Microbiology, Mannargudi, Thiruvarur District, Tamilnadu, India.
Department of Microbiology, PSG College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.
Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Department of Microbiology, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.


The present study was carried out to investigate the antifungal effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Citrus limon, Juniperus communis, Eucalyptus citriodora, Gaultheria procumbens, Melaleuca alternifolia, Origanum majorana, Salvia sclarea, and Thymus vulgaris essential oils against Fusarium species, the most common etiologic agents of filamentous fungal keratitis in South India. C. zeylanicum essential oil showed strong anti-Fusarium activity, whereas all the other tested essential oils proved to be less effective. The main component of C. zeylanicum essential oil, trans-cinnamaldehyde, was also tested and showed a similar effect as the oil. The in vitro interaction between trans-cinnamaldehyde and natamycin, the first-line therapeutic agent of Fusarium keratitis, was also investigated; an enhanced fungal growth inhibition was observed when these agents were applied in combination. Light and fluorescent microscopic observations revealed that C. zeylanicum essential oil/trans-cinnamaldehyde reduces the cellular metabolism and inhibits the conidia germination. Furthermore, necrotic events were significantly more frequent in the presence of these two compounds. According to our results, C. zeylanicum essential oil/trans-cinnamaldehyde provides a promising basis to develop a novel strategy for the treatment of Fusarium keratitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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