Background: The leaves of Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) are used for treatment of diabetes mellitus in traditional medicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of eucalyptus in treatment of established systemic infection with Candida albicans in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Methods: Sixty normoglycemic male Wistar rats, weighing 200-250 g, were selected and randomly divided into six groups (n= 10): normal control, control + C. albicans, control + eucalyptus + C. albicans, diabetic control, diabetic + C. albicans, diabetic + eucalyptus + C. albicans. Diabetes was induced after a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg body weight) and eucalyptus was added to the diet (62.5 g/kg) and drinking water (2.5 g/L) of treated animals for 4 weeks. The concerned groups were inoculated with C. albicans 15 days after diabetes induction. At the end of one month experiment, fasted rats were killed by cervical decapitation. Blood was collected from neck vein for estimation of glucose. C. albicans concentrations were estimated in liver and kidneys using serial dilution culture of tissue homogenates.
Results: Eucalyptus administration significantly improved the hyperglycemia, polydipsia, polyphagia, and it also compensated weight loss of diabetic rats (P less than 0.05). Moreover, eucalyptus caused a significant reduction in C. albicans concentration in liver and kidney homogenates (P less than 0.01).
Conclusion: The results revealed that eucalyptus improves Candidia infection in normal and diabetic rats that in some ways validates the traditional use of this plant in treatment of diabetic patients.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Eucalyptus globulus; Candida albicans.