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J Gen Microbiol. 1988 Nov;134(11):2917-24.

Studies on the anticandidal mode of action of Allium sativum (garlic).

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  • 1Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, Safat.


The mode of action of aqueous garlic extract (AGE) was studied in Candida albicans. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of AGE against six clinical yeast isolates ranged between 0.8 and 1.6 mg ml-1. Scanning electron microscopy and cell leakage studies showed that garlic treatment affected the structure and integrity of the outer surface of the yeast cells. Growth of C. albicans in the presence of AGE affected the yeast lipid in a number of ways: the total lipid content was decreased; garlic-grown yeasts had a higher level of phosphatidylserines and a lower level of phosphatidylcholines; in addition to free sterols and sterol esters, C. albicans accumulated esterified steryl glycosides; the concentration of palmitic acid (16:0) and oleic acid (18:1) increased and that of linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3) decreased. Oxygen consumption of AGE-treated C. albicans was also reduced. The anticandidal activity of AGE was antagonized by thiols such as L-cysteine, glutathione and 2-mercaptoethanol. Interaction studies between AGE and thiols included growth antagonism, enzymic inhibition and interference of two linear zones of inhibition. All three approaches suggest that AGE exerts its effect by the oxidation of thiol groups present in the essential proteins, causing inactivation of enzymes and subsequent microbial growth inhibition.

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