The increasing incidence of drug-resistant pathogens and toxicity of existing antifungal compounds has drawn attention towards the antimicrobial activity of natural products. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antifungal activity of coriander essential oil according to classical bacteriological techniques, as well as with flow cytometry. The effect of the essential oil upon germ tube formation, seen as an important virulence factor, and potential synergism with amphotericin B were also studied. Coriander essential oil has a fungicidal activity against the Candida strains tested with MLC values equal to the MIC value and ranging from 0.05 to 0.4% (v/v). Flow cytometric evaluation of BOX, PI and DRAQ5 staining indicates that the fungicidal effect is a result of cytoplasmic membrane damage and subsequent leakage of intracellular components such as DNA. Also, concentrations bellow the MIC value caused a marked reduction in the percentage of germ tube formation for C. albicans strains. A synergetic effect between coriander oil and amphotericin B was also obtained for C. albicans strains, while for C. tropicalis strain only an additive effect was observed. This study describes the antifungal activity of coriander essential oil on Candida spp., which could be useful in designing new formulations for candidosis treatment.
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