Introduction: Endodontic infections are polymicrobial in nature. Candida albicans is the most common fungus isolated from failed endodontic cases. The constant increase in antibiotic resistant strains and side-effects caused by synthetic drugs has prompted researchers to look for herbal alternatives such as propolis, Morinda citrifolia and Azadirachta indica (Neem) etc., since, the gold standard for irrigation, i.e., sodium hypochlorite has many disadvantages.
Materials and methods: Extracted human mandibular premolars were biomechanically prepared, vertically sectioned, placed in tissue culture wells exposing the root canal surface to C. albicans grown on Sabouraud Dextrose Agar to form a biofilm. At the end of 2 days, all groups were treated with test solutions and control for 10 min and evaluated for Candida growth and number of colony forming units. The readings were subjected to statistical analysis using analysis of variance and post hoc Tukey tests.
Results: Sodium hypochlorite and propolis groups exhibited highest antimicrobial efficacy against C. albicans with no statistically significant difference. It was followed by the A. indica (Neem) group. M. citrifolia had limited antifungal action followed by the negative control group of saline.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, propolis can be used as an effective antifungal agent similar to that of sodium hypochlorite, although long-term in vivo studies are warranted.
Keywords: Antimicrobial efficacy; Azadirachta indica; Candida albicans; Morinda citrifolia; propolis; sodium hypochlorite.