Objectives: The antifungal activity of curcumin was evaluated against 23 fungi strains and its in vitro inhibitory effect on the adhesion of Candida [yeast] species to human buccal epithelial cells (BEC) was also investigated. [BEC are found in the protective lining of the oral cavity.]
Methods: The antifungal susceptibility was evaluated by broth microdilution assay following the CLSI (formerly the NCCLS) guidelines. The inhibitory effect of curcumin on the cell adhesion was performed with Candida species and BEC.
Results: Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolates were the most susceptible to curcumin while the growth of Aspergillus [family of spore-forming fungus/mold] isolates was not affected.
Curcumin was much more efficient than fluconazole [a prescription antifungal drug commonly used to treat yeast infections] in inhibiting the adhesion of Candida species to BEC, particularly those strains isolated from the buccal mucosa of AIDS patients.
• The lack of antifungal compounds with reduced side effects highlights the importance of studying natural products for this purpose.
• Curcumin was a more potent antifungal than fluconazole against P. brasiliensis, the causal agent of the neglected disease paracoccidioidomycosis.
• Curcumin dramatically inhibited the adhesion of Candida species isolated from AIDS patients to BEC, demonstrating that curcumin is a promising lead compound that warrants further investigation into its therapeutical use in immunocompromised patients.
Source: The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Nov 26, 2008. E-pub ahead of print. PMID: 19038979, by Martins CV, da Silva DL, Neres AT, Magalhães TF, Watanabe GA, Modolo LV, Sabino AA, de Fátima A, de Resende MA. Departamento de Microbiologia, ICB, UFMG, Avenida Presidente Antonio Carlos, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. [E-mail: email@example.com]