Background: Candida biofilm and associated infections is a serious threat to the large population of immunocompromised patients. Biofilm growth on prosthetic devices or host tissue shows reduced sensitivity to antifungal agents and persists as a reservoir of infective cells. Options for successful treatment of biofilm associated Candida infections are restricted because most of the available antifungal drugs fail to eradicate biofilms. Objective: Various plant actives are known to possess interesting antifungal properties. To explore and review the potential of phytochemicals as a novel strategy against Candida biofilms is the intent of present article. Method: Thorough literature search is performed to identify Candida biofilm inhibitors of plant origin. An account of efficacy of selected phytochemicals is presented taking into consideration their biofilm inhibitory concentrations. Results: This review discusses biofilm formation by Candida species, their involvement in human infections, and associated drug resistance. It gives insight into the biofilm inhibitory potential of various phytochemicals. Based on the available reports including the work done in our laboratory, several plant extracts, essential oils and phytomolecules have been identified as excellent inhibitors of biofilms of C. albicans and non-albicans Candida species (NACS). Conclusion: Selected phytochemicals which exhibit activities at low concentrations without displaying toxicity to host are potential therapeutic agents against biofilm associated Candida infections. In vivo testing in animal models and clinical trials in humans are required to be taken up seriously to propose few of the phytochemicals as candidate drug molecules.
Keywords: Antimicrobial, antifungal, biofilm, Candida, drug resistance, medicine, phytochemical, plant molecule.