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Essential oils – prospective candidates for antifungal treatment?

Natu, Kalyani N., Tatke, Pratima A.
TheJournal of essential oil research 2019 v.31 no.5 pp. 347-360
Aspergillus, Candida, Cinnamomum, Cymbopogon, Fusarium, Melaleuca, antifungal agents, antifungal properties, essential oils, fungi, hydrophobicity, immunocompromised population, mortality, oils, patients, secondary metabolites
A rise in mortality due to fungal infections in immunocompromised population has been observed lately. The possibility of having no effective antifungal agent in the future is worrisome owing to the rapidly developing resistance of pathogenic fungi to the currently available antifungal agents. Therefore, we are in dire need of coming up with newer strategies that involve reliable agents for the treatment of fungal diseases. Essential oils are known for their anti-microbial properties. They are hydrophobic secondary metabolites in plants and are multi-component in nature. The review herein discusses the antifungal potential of various essential oils investigated in different studies against four pathogenic fungi, namely Aspergillus, Candida, Cryptococcus and Fusarium, which are known to be the common cause of mortality in immunocompromised patients. Of note, the oils of Melaleuca, Cymbopogon, Cinnamomum and Thymus genera have been found to have a remarkable antifungal activity against these pathogenic fungi.