Aims: Candida species is the common cause of opportunistic fungal infections all over the world with increased mortality and morbidity especially in immunosuppressed patients. Fluconazole is the first line therapy for candidiasis. The antifungal resistance pattern in high-risk patients is a major concern. The present study was aimed to assess the anticandidal activity of Punica granatum peel against fluconazole resistant Candida species isolated from HIV patients.
Materials & Methods: Ethanol, chloroform, petroleum ether and aqueous extracts of the peel of P. granatum were evaluated against standard strains of Candida spp. and fluconazole resistant clinical isolates by agar diffusion and broth dilution techniques. The GC-MS analysis of the extracts was performed to identify the phytochemicals present in it. The predominant phytochemical was subjected to molecular docking study to determine its binding efficacy with lanosterol 14-alpha demethylase.
Results: P. granatum peel extracts showed excellent anticandidal activity with ethanol extract exhibiting the most inhibitory activity. C. albicans and C. krusei were the most inhibited and C. parapsilosis was the least inhibited species. The GC-MS analysis of the ethanol extract identified five predominant phytochemicals. On docking studies, the five phytochemicals showed a good binding to the lanosterol 14-alpha demethylase.
Conclusion: The present study is the first report on the antifungal activity of various extracts of P. granatum against fluconazole resistant Candida isolates. Ethanol extract of P. granatum peel showed excellent anticandidal activity against fluconazole resistant Candida spp. Hence, it can be explored further to identify a potential drug candidate.