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Volume 43, Number 5, October 2010

Effect of Plant Oils on Candida albicans

Vishnu Agarwal, Priyanka Lal, Vikas Pruthi

Received: October 20, 2010    Revised: October 20, 2010    Accepted: October 20, 2010   


Corresponding author:

Vishnu Agarwal, Department of Biotechnology, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology,
Allahabad, India.
E-mail: or


Background and purpose: 

Candida species, notably Candida albicans, is the major fungal pathogen in humans. It is a dimorphic fungus capable of causing superficial mucosal infections, as well as systemic infections, in immunocompromised individuals. The factors responsible for its pathogenesis are still not fully understood and increasing resistance to commonly used antifungal agents necessitates the search for new formulations



The inhibitory effect of 30 different plant oils on Candida albicans isolated from clinical samples was evaluated. The antifungal agent fluconazole was used as a positive control. Plant oils were tested at concentrations from 0.03% to 3% (v/v) to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum
fungicidal concentration (MFC) using agar dilution and macro broth dilution assays.



Of the 30 plant oils tested, 18 were found to be effective and 12 were ineffective. Based on their MFCs, effective oils were placed into three categories: most effective, moderately effective and least effective. Eucalyptus and peppermint oils were most effective, with MFC values of 0.12% and 0.15% (v/v), respectively.



The significant antifungal activity of these oils suggests that they could serve as a source of compounds with therapeutic potential against Candida-related infections.


Key words:

Candida albicans, fluconazole, infections, plant oils