|Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
(2010), 9 (3): 279-285
Received: July 2008
Accepted: February 2009
Copyright ? 2010 by School of Pharmacy
Antidermatophytic Activity of Pogostemon parviflorus Benth
Batool Sadeghi-Nejada* and Subhash Sadhu Deokuleb
aDepartment of Mycoparasitology, Medical School, Ahvaz Joundi-Shapour University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran. bDepartment of Botany, University of Pune Ganeshkhind, Pune, India.
In the developing countries of tropical regions, mycotic infections are common cause of skin diseases.The use of medicinal plants in the treatment of skin diseases including mycotic infections is an age-old practice in many parts of the world. The drugs used against dermatophytosis have several side effects, but limited efficacy. There is therefore a distinct need for discovery of new, safer and more effective antifungal agents. Medicinal plants used in traditional folk medicine may help us to overcome the growing problem of resistance to antifungal drugs and also their relative toxicity. In this study, in vitro antifungal activity of Pogostemon parviflorus leaf extracts were evaluated against three different genera of dermatophytes including Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton, using the agar dilution method. Pogostemon parviflorus Benth. belongs to Labiatae family. The ethanolic extract of Pogostemon parviflorus leaf inhibited the growth of tested dermatophytes at different concentrations. The ethanolic extract of Pogostemon parviflorus leaf completely prevented the growth of tested dermatophytic species, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values between 2.5-10 mg/mL. The minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) values of this plant were also in the range of 2.5-10 mg/mL. Results of phytochemical screening tests indicated that the leaf of Pogostemon parviflorus contained saponins, reducing sugars, tannins, phenols and proteins, but it did not have any glycosides, anthraquinones, alkaloids or flavonoids. Results of High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) studies indicated that the ethyl acetate extract of Pogostemon parviflorus leaves included triterpenes, as 10 and 14 peaks of ultra violet (UV) absorption were observed in 254 nm and 366 nm, respectively. Hence, triterpenes may be responsible for antidermatophytic activity of this plant.
Pogostemon parviflorus has a strong odor. It grows in areas with high annual rainfall (Figures 1 and 2). This plant has antiseptic activity and it is useful in the treatment of enteritis, eczema and mycotic enteritis (1). Due to the increasing number of immunocompromised individuals, fungal infections have increased in the last two decades (2), among which skin fungal infections are very difficult to eradicate (3). Dermatophytes produce a variety of problems, such as Athlete?s foot and nail infections which lead to debilitation of the patients, and they can also spread to other areas of the body and to other individuals (4). Human mycoses are not always successfully treated because of their resistance to antifungal drugs, or ineffectiveness and side effects of these agents. Hence, it is of urgent importance to search for more effective and less toxic new antifungal agents through their detection in medicinal plants. Furthermore, new antifungal agents are still needed to improve the treatment of superficial fungal infections (5, 6).
Pogostemon parviflorus was collected from Mulshi district, Pune Maharashtra state, India. This plant specimen was collected in flowering and fruiting state and identified by the botanical survey of India. A voucher specimen has been deposited at the herbarium of Botany department of Pune University, India. The healthy and disease-free leaves were separated and shade dried to avoid decomposition of chemical constituents. Leaves were powdered in grinder and stored in clean and dry airtight containers for further studies.
Preparation of plant extracts
The leaves of Pogostemon parviflorus were extracted in ethanol. To 10 g of each powdered material was added 100 mL ethanol 80% (drug/solvent ratio of 1:10 w/v) in a conical flask for maceration.Flask was then plugged with cotton and placed on a rotary shaker at 190-220 rpm for 72 h at room temperature (7). Finally, the suspension was filtrated through a Buckner funnel and Whatman filter paper #1.
The ethanolic extract was evaporated to dryness in an oven or in a water bath at 45?C. One gram of the dried extract was then dissolved in 1 mL 100 % dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The final concentration of each extract was adjusted to 1000 mg/mL.
For the evaluation of antifungal activity, 3 strains obtained from the Persian Type Culture Collection (PTCC), Tehran, Iran, including Trichophyton mentagrophytes PTCC 5054, Microsporum canis PTCC 5069, M. gypseum PTCC 5070; 13 as well as other strains isolated from different lesions of patients in a clinical laboratory in Ahwaz, Iran, including Microsporum canis (n = 2): MC-1, MC-2, M. gypseum (n = 3): MG-1, MG-2, MG-3, Trichophyton rubrum (n = 2): TR-1, TR-2, T. mentagrophytes (n = 3): TM-1, TM-2, TM-3 and Epidermophyton floccosum (n = 3): EF-1, EF-2, EF-3 and identified by standard procedures (8). Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) at 25?C was used to maintain isolates. For antifungal assay, each dermatophyte isolate was subcultured onto sabouraud dextrose agar (Hi-Media, India) slants and incubated at 28-30?C for 4-5 days and subcultured every 15 days to prevent pleomorphic transformations (7).
Preparation of fungal inoculum
A standardized inoculum was prepared by counting the microconidia, microscopically. For this purpose, the suspension of conidia was prepared using sterile distilled water or 0.85% physiological saline solution. The dispersing fluid was added to the slant tube culture and the surface of culture was gently rubbed by a sterile bent glass rod to dislodge the conidia from the hyphal mat. The suspension was then transferred to a sterile centrifuge tube and the volume was adjusted to 5-10 mL with sterile saline. The final suspension of conidia was counted with a hemocytometer cell counting chamber. The inoculum of cell or spore suspensions were prepared, as described elsewhere (9, 10) , and adjusted to 104-105 colony-forming units (CFU) per mL.
Antifungal susceptibility testing
The fungistatic activity of different extracts was evaluated by the agar dilution method (7, 11, 12). One thousand milligrams of the ethanolic extract was dissolved in 1 mL of sterile DMSO, serving as the stock solution (7). For the assay method, the stock solution of extract was two-fold diluted with sterile distilled water or saline solution to produce serial decreasing dilutions ranging from 0.078-20 mg/mL. Then 5 mL Mycosel agar medium was dispensed in each petri dish (60 mm in diameter), under laminar flow (aseptic condition), and cooled to 45?C. Into the non-solidified media 100 ?L of the extract stock solution plus 50 ?L of the dermatophyte suspension (105 CUF/mL) removed from a seven days old culture of fungi, was added, and evenly mixed. The plates were then incubated at 28-30?C.
MICs were visually recorded, based on the control fungus growth, up to 15 days for dermatophytic species. The antifungal agents like griseofulvin (Sigma) and Ketoconazole (Janssen Pharmaceutical) were used as the positive controls. Drug-free solution (only containing an appropriate amount of DMSO) was also used as the blank control for verification of fungal growth. MIC value was defined as the lowest extract concentration capable of inhibiting fungal growth, and MFC value was defined as the lowest extract concentrations showing no visible fungal growth after the incubation time. MIC50 and MIC90 values were the lowest extract concentrations at which 50% and 90% of the clinical isolates were inhibited (13). Dermatophyte plates were examined visually for 50% and 90% growth inhibition, compared to the growth control. MIC results were recorded in ?g/mL. Every strain was tested in triplicate and a new inoculum was prepared for each assay. Duplicate plates were used for each assay.
The leaf of Pogostemon parviflorus was evaluated qualitatively for the presence of saponins, reducing sugars, tannins, alkaloids, proteins, glycosides, anthraquinones and flavonoids. In the present investigation, the ethyl acetate extract of Pogostemon parviflorus leaf was subjected to TLC, using a precoated silica gel F254 plate. A solvent system of acetone . ethyl acetate . petroleum ether (0.5: 0.5:2.0) [AEP] was used for obtaining the best resolution for spots. HPTLC fingerprint for the same extract was obtained at 254 nm and 366 nm.
Data analysis was performed, using the SPSS program version 10 (SPSS Inc., USA). Analysis of variance was conducted, using the general one-way ANOVA with post hoc comparison of mean values by LSD.
Results and Discussion
The ethanolic extract of Pogostemon parviflorus leaf completely prevented the growth of tested dermatophytic species, with MIC values between 2.5-10 mg/mL. MIC90 and MIC50 values were 1.250-5.000 and 0.312-1.250 mg/mL, respectively. The lowest MIC90s and MIC50s were concerned with the species of T. mentagrophytes and the highest MIC90s and MIC50s were observed with the strains of M. canis. The MFC values of this plant were also in the range of 2.5-10 mg/mL. Finally, the T. mentagrophytes species were found to be more sensitive than the other dermatophytic species, while species of M. canis were the most resistant among the five tested dermatophytic species, against inhibitory effects of Pogostemon parviflorus. The results have been shown in Tables 1 and 2, as well as Figure 3. We also tested Pogostemon parviflorus against several strains of E. floccosum that produces arthroconidia. These microorganisms survive for a longer time than the other dermatophytes, and as a result constitute an environmental source of contagion, sometimes leading to recurrent outbreaks of dermatophytosis (6). Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagrophytes, which are the main cause of athlete?s foot and onichomycoses in human beings, were also tested. Athlete?s foot is the most prevalent superficial infection in the developed world (14) and onichomycoses affects 2%?13% of the population worldwide and up to 30% of groups at high risk, such as elderly and diabetic people (15, 16).
Results of phytochemical screening indicated that the leaf of Pogostemon parviflorus contained saponins, reducing sugars, tannins, phenols and proteins, but not glycosides, anthraquinones, alkaloids and flavonoids (Table 3).
Results of HPTLC studies indicated that the ethyl acetate extracts of Pogostemon parviflorus leaves (17) contain triterpene, showing 10 uv-absorption peaks in 254 nm, 14 peaks in 366 nm and a violet zone in visible wavelengths after derivatization with anisaldehyde sulphuric acid (Figures 5-9). This compound may account for the anti-dermatophytic activity of this plant. This finding was in agreement with a previous study reporting that the ethanolic extract of Pogostemon parviflorus leaf possesses antifungal properties against dermatophytic species isolates (18).
Briefly, based on the results of this study, we can consider the ethanolic extract of Pogostemon parviflorus as a new source for developing local antifungal agents. However, further studies are needed to determine the efficacy of active chemical constituents of this plant extract. Toxicological studies must also be performed to ensure the safety of the extract.
The authors would like to thank Prof. B.B. Ghaugule, Head of the Botany Department, for providing the necessary laboratory facilities and for encouragement to carry out this work.
Dymock D, Warden CJH and Hooper D. Pharmacographia Indica (1810) 3:
(2) Wong B, Klei B and Kozel T. Immunologic approaches and metabolite detection. The Second NIAID Workshop in Medical Mycology, Northern Arizona University, Arizona (1994).
(3) Weitzman I and Summerbell RC. The dermatophytes. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. (1995) 8: 240-59.
(4) Ghannoum MA and Rice LB. Antifungal agents; mode of action, mechanisms of resistance and correlation of these mechanisms with bacterial resistance. Clin. Microbiol.Rev. (1999) 12: 501-17.
(5) Barrett D. From natural products to clinically useful antifungal. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2002) 1587: 224-33.
(6) Domenico B. Novel antifungal drugs. Curr. Opin. Microbial. (1999) 2: 509-15.
(7) Fenner M, Sortinob SM, Ratesa R, Agnola S and Zacchino B. Antifungal activity of some Brazilian Hypericum species. Phytomedicine (2005) 12: 236-240.
(8) Rebell G and Taplin D. Dermatophytes, Their Recognition and Identification. University of Miami Press, Florida (1970) 115.
(9) Shin S and Lim S. Antifungal effects of herbal essential oils alone and in combination with ketoconazole against Trichophyton spp. J. Applied Microbiol. (2004) 97: 1289-1296.
(10) Wrigh L, Scott E and Gorman S. The sensitiveness of mycelium, arthrospores and microconidia of Trichophyton mentagrophytes to imidazoles determined by in-vitro tests. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. (1983) 12: 317-323.
(11) Lucia KHS, Cecilia MAO, Pedro HF, Juldasio GOJ, Henrique SJ, Orinalda de Fatima LF and Maria do Rosario RS. Antimicrobial Activity of Hyptis ovalifolia Towards Dermatophytes. Mem. Inst. (2003) 98: 963-965.
(12) Mitscher L, Leu R, Bathala MW and Beal J. Antimicrobial agents from higher plants. Introd. Ratio. Methodo. (1972) 35: 157-166.
(13) Marco F, Pfaller MA, Messer S and Jones RN. In vitro activities of voriconazole (UK-109,496) and four other antifungal agents against 394 clinical isolates of Candida spp. Antimicrob. Agent Chemother. (1998) 42: 161-163.
(14) Evans EG. Tinea pedis: Clinical experience and efficacy of short treatment. Dermatology (1997) 1: 3-6.
(15) Gupta AK, Konnikov N, MacDonald P, Rich P, Rodger NVV and Edmond MW. Prevalence and epidemiology of toe nail onychomycosis in diabetic subjects: Multicenter survey. Br. J. Dermatol. (1998) 139: 665-671.
(16) Levy LA. Epidemiology of onychomycosis in special risk populations. J. Am. Podiatr. Med. Assoc. (1997) 87: 546-550.
(17) Wagner H, Bladt S and Zgainski EM. Plant Drug Analysis: A Thin Layer Chromatography Atlas. 2nd ed., Springer-Verlag, New York (1984) 305-327.
(18) Zacchino S and LoPez S. In-vitro evaluation of antifungal properties of phenylpropanoids and related compounds acting against dermatophytes. J. Nat. Prod. (1999) 62: 1353-1357.