Inhibitory effect of Zizyphus extract on fungal infection

Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

Volume 3 - Number Supple.2

Article Type: Original Article
Cutaneous fungal infections remain a clinical problem. Among fungi, dermatophyte molds are the major cause of various type of Tinea. These infections are still difficult to manage and some of the antifungal agent are poorly tolerated or have been associated with emergence of resistance. The traditional methods, especially the use of medicinal plants place an imperative role to cover the basic health in the developing countries. Zizyphus, traditionally applied as a hair cleanser, is one of the Rhamnaceae families that grow wild in the central region of Iran. Here we study the probable antifungal effect of this plant. The in vitro antifungal activity of Zizyphus extract was evaluated against three different genera of dermatophytes (Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton) and two known saprophyetes (Aspergillus and Candida) by pour plate method. Different concentrations of mentioned extract were then suspended in Sabouraud culture medium containing cyclohexamide and chloramphenicol. Fungal growth was determined by measuring colony’s diameter. Significant decrease on fungal growth was seen by increaseing Zizyphus concentration in the culture medium in comparison with controls. Based on the data, five percent concentration of Zizyphus extract completely inhibited the growth of all dermatophyte species. However, no inhibitory effect was seen against saprophytic molds. Herbal remedies used in traditional folk medicine may help to overcome the growing problem of resistance to antifungal drugs and their relative toxicity. Based on the results of this study, we can consider Zizyphus extract as a new source for developing local antifungal agents. However further studies is needed to determine the efficacy of active component of this extract.