Objectives: To determine the effect of propolis on Candida albicans and to compare it with the effects of some other herbal extracts and antibiotics on this pathogenic fungi.
Methods: The extracts of propolis, Thymus vulgaris, Caryophillium aromaticus, Echinophora platyloba, Allium cepa and Cinnamomum zeylanicum were prepared and the antifungi effects of the extracts were examined on Candida albicans ATCC10231 using disc-diffusion assay and micro-broth dilution. The minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) as well as inhibition zone were evaluated and the anti fungi effects of herbal extracts were compared with amphotricin B and nystatin at the times of 24, 48 and 72 h. Data analysis was performed using t test.
Results: Obtained results showed that propolis extract with MIC90 and MFC equal to 39 and 65 μg/mL, respectively, possess the highest antifungal activity when compared with other studied extracts. The extracts of Allium cepa and Thymus vulgaris, with MFC of 169 and 137 μg/mL, respectively, showed the lowest effects on the fungi. Also nystatin and amphotricin B yielded better effects on the tested fungi compared with the effects of all studied extracts on Candida albicans.
Conclusion: Propolis extract is effective in controlling Candida albicans. However, the issue requires further investigation on samples in animals and performing toxicological examinations.
Keywords: Candida albicans; antibiotics; herbal extract; propolis.