Hydroxytyrosol (HT) is a potent antioxidant found in olive oil and leaves. Using several in vitro approaches,
we tested antifungal activity of HT. HT showed broad spectrum of antifungal activity against medically important yeasts
and dermatophyte strains with MIC values ranging between 97.6 µgml-1 and 6.25 mgml-1. The antimicrobial activity of
HT was also tested using the time-kill methodology. Below the MIC value, HT showed potent damage of cell wall of
Candida albicans ATCC 10231 using fluorescent dye-exclusion method. At the subinhibitory concentration, HT also influenced
dimorphic transition of Candida indicating that HT is inhibitor of germ-tube formation as one of the most important
virulence factor of C. albicans. Furthermore, HT showed disturbances in cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) of C. albicans.
The in vitro results indicate that HT caused a significant cell wall damage and changes in CSH as well as inhibition
of germ-tube formation as virulence factor of C. albicans. The study indicates that HT has a considerable in vitro
antifungal activity against medically important yeasts.
Keywords: Antifungal activity, Candida albicans, cell surface hydrophobicity, germ-tube formation, hydroxytyrosol, virulence
factors, olive leaf.
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