Antifungal activity of essential oils against azole-resistant and azole-susceptible vaginal Candida glabrata strains.
Can J Microbiol. 2018 Oct ;64(10):647-663. Epub 2018 May 10. PMID: 29746162
Candida glabrata is an opportunistic pathogen, associated with endocarditis, meningitis, and disseminated disease, and also with complicated vaginitis. Essential oils derived from aromatic plants are known in traditional medicine as antimicrobial agents and have antifungal properties. The aim of this work was to evaluate whether 12 tested essential oils (tea tree, laurel, anise, basil, bergamot, lavender, mint, oregano, grapefruit, rosemary, winter savory, and ginger) could have a transverse effect on C. glabrata sensitive strains but above all on strains resistant to the three main azole antifungals used (clotrimazole, fluconazole, itraconazole). For this reason, different strains of C. glabrata, vaginal isolated, were characterized (disk diffusion assay, minimal inhibitory concentration) with respect to their response to such antifungals. Electron microscopy analyses were performed to examine cellular damages in depth. Subsequently, we wanted to evaluate the effect of the oils on human cells to estimate their potential cytotoxicity. Oregano and winter savory were the two most effective essential oils, inducing growth inhibition, cell damage of C. glabrata strains (both sensitive and resistant to azole antifungal drugs), and medium-high level of toxicity against human keratinocytes. The results of this work support the research for new alternatives or complementary therapies against vaginal candidiasis.