Inhibitory effect of essential oils against Trichosporon ovoides causing Piedra Hair Infection

Braz J Microbiol. 2012 Oct;43(4):1347-54. doi: 10.1590/S1517-838220120004000016. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


Piedra, is an asymptomatic fungal infection of the hair shaft, resulting in the formation of nodules of different hardness on the infected hair. The infection also known as Trichomycosis nodularis is a superficial fungal infection arising from the pathogen being restricted to the stratum corneum with little or no tissue reaction. The nodules are a concretion of hyphae and fruiting bodies of the fungus. Two varieties of Piedra may be seen, Black Piedra and White Piedra. The fungus Trichosporon ovoides is involved in the occurrence of both types of Piedras. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of selected essential oils for the control of growth of the fungus and to determine whether the antifungal effect was due to the major compounds of the oils. Two screening methods viz. Agar well diffusion assay and Minimum Inhibitory Concentration were adopted for the study. MIC and MFC were determined by tube dilution method. Essential oils from Eucalyptus, Ocimum basilicum, Mentha piperita, Cymbopogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon winterians, Trachyspermum ammi, Zingiber officinalis, Citrus limon, Cinnamomon zeylanicum, Salvia sclarea, Citrus aurantifolia, Melaleuca alternifolia, Citrus aurantium, Citrus bergamia, Pogostemon pathchouli, Cedrus atlantica, Jasminum officinale, Juniperus communis, Abelmoschus moschatus, Cyperus scariosus, Palargonium graveolens, Boswellia carterii, Rosa damascene, Veteveria zizanoides and Commiphora myrrha were evaluated. The essential oils of Cymbopogon winterians, Mentha piperita, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Melaleuca alternifolia and Eucalyptus globulus were proved to be most effective against the fungus Trichosporon ovoides.

Keywords: Essential oils; Piedra hair infection; antifungal activity.