Mode of action and anti-Candida activity of Artemisia annua mediated-synthesized silver nanoparticles

J Mycol Med. 2019 Sep;29(3):201-209. doi: 10.1016/j.mycmed.2019.07.005. Epub 2019 Jul 26.


Candida albicans is a polymorphic opportunistic commensal that causes both superficial and systemic fungal infections especially in immunocompromised patients. Biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have emerged as potential antifungal agents. The present work evaluates the antifungal activity of Artemisia annua synthesized AgNPs against three Candida species (C. albicans ATCC 90028, C. tropicalis ATCC 750 and C. glabrata ATCC 90030). The in vitro effect of AgNPs was investigated for fungal growth, sterol content, secretion of hydrolytic enzymes and yeast-to-hyphal transition. The green synthesized AgNPs were effective against all the three species with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in the range 80-120μgml-1. Candida glabrata showed greater sensitivity for AgNPs followed by Candida tropicalis and C. albicans. AgNPs at 4MIC were as effective as fluconazole (FLC) and caused only 5% haemolysis while FLC caused 50% haemolysis at the same concentration. The secretion of hydrolytic enzymes was the lowest in case of AgNP exposed C. glabrata. Yeast-to-hyphal transition was significantly reduced in treated C. albicans cells and showed disfigured morphology in SEM images. The decrease in ergosterol content was slightly higher (94%) in both C. glabrata and C. tropicalis in comparison to C. albicans (69%). Green synthesized AgNPs thus have immense potential as an antifungal and can play a crucial role in the management of Candida infections especially those caused by C. glabrata.

Keywords: Ergosterol synthesis; Morphological transition; Phospholipases; Proteinases.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Artemisia annua / chemistry*
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candida / enzymology
  • Candida / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Candida glabrata / drug effects
  • Candida tropicalis / drug effects
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Phospholipases / metabolism
  • Silver / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Silver
  • Fluconazole
  • Phospholipases
  • Peptide Hydrolases