Parasitic diseases remain a major public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of people,
particularly in tropical developing countries. The limited availability and affordability of
pharmaceutical medicines means that the majority of the world's population depends on
traditional medical remedies, and it is estimated that some 20 000 species of higher plant are
used medicinally throughout the world. Many well-known drugs listed in the modern
pharmacopoeia have their origins in nature, including, for example, quinine from the bark of the
Cinchona tree for the treatment of malaria, which has been followed by the subsequent
development of the synthetic derivatives chloroquine, amodiaquine, primaquine and mefloquine.
The plant kingdom has contributed to the health problems since the time immemorial. A WHO
study reveals that around 90% of the world population in the developing world relies on herbal
remedies for their basic healthcare needs. A number of compounds isolated from plants have
medicinal properties [Goldstein A., Aronow L.,Kalman S.M., (1974)] [Tyler V.E., Brady L.R.,
[Klayman, (1985)] [Nair, (1986)] [De Souza, (1983)].
Hammer.K.A studied the activity of 52 plant oils extracts against Acinetobacter baumanii,
Aeromonas veronii, Candida albicans, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella
pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype
typhimurium, Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus aureus, using an agar dilution method.
Lemongrass, Oregano and Bay inhibited all organisms at concentrations of 2·0% (v/v). Six oils
did not inhibit any organisms at the highest concentration, which was 2·0% (v/v) oil for Apricot
kernel, Evening primrose, Macadamia, pumpkin, Sage and Sweet almond. Twenty of the plant
oils and extracts were re investigated, using a broth microdilution method, for activity against C.
albicans, Staph. aureus and E. coli. The lowest minimum inhibitory concentrations were 0·03%
(v/v) thyme oil against C. albicans and E. coli and 0·008% (v/v) Vetiver oil against Staph.
aureus. Plant essential oils and extracts may have a role as pharmaceuticals and preservatives.
Magro.A (2007) evaluates fungistatic activity of six aqueous extracts (Lavandula stoechas L.,
Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Malva sylvestris L., Origanum vulgare L., Tabebuia impetiginosa
and Rosmarinus officinalis L.) They were tested against Aspergillus candidus, A. niger,
Penicillium sp. and Fusarium culmorum. These extracts are showed good fungistatic activity.
The ethanol extracts of clove (Eugenia caryophyllus Bullock & Harrison) and sweet flag (Acorus
calamus Linn.) were investigated for their antifungal activity in comparison with eugenol and
amphotericin B (AmB) by using the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards
(NCCLs) M27-P broth microdilution method. Two medicinal plant extracts, eugenol and
amphotericin B were used to determine their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and
minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) against 28 clinical isolates of Candida albicans and
25 clinical isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. The MICs of clove, sweet flag, eugenol and
AmB against C. albicans were 17.41±8.64 mg/ml, 28.8±16.32 mg/ml, and 12.16±4.53 mg/ml
and 0.23±0.1 µg/ml respectively. The MFCs were 67.5±15.39 mg/ml, >75 mg/ml, 15.4±6.47
mg/ml and 0.47±0.21 µg/ml respectively. The same extracts and antifungal drugs which were
tested against C. albicans were also tested against C. neoformans. The MICs were 2.43±0.95
mg/ml, 3.02±1.97 mg/ml, 6.28±3.4 mg/ml and 0.28±0.15 µg/ml, respectively. The MFCs were
22.22±12.71 mg/ml, 30.82±27.11 mg/ml, 10.06±4.9 mg/ml and 0.51±0.25 µg/ml respectively.
The results showed that C. albicans was significantly (p<0.01) more susceptible to the extract of
clove than sweet flag, whereas C. neoformans was significantly susceptible to the clove extract
(p>0.05). Moreover, the extract of clove showed significantly (p<0.01) more potent inhibitory
activity against C. neoformans than eugenol, while it showed significantly (p<0.01) less
inhibitory activity against C. albicans than eugenol. AmB, the drug of choice for invasive
infection treatment, remains as one of the most effective antifungal drugs. These data indicate
that the extracts of clove and sweet flag were potential fungistatic agents against yeasts, whereas
AmB and eugenol showed fungicidal effects. [Thirach. S, 2001]
Berrin O, et al., (2005) studied the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of 15
lipohylic extracts obtained from different parts (leaf, branch, stem, kernel, shell skins, seeds) of
Pistacia vera were screened against both standard and the isolated strains of Escherichia coli,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and
C. parapsilosis by microdilution method. Herpes simplex (DNA) and Parainfluenza viruses
(RNA) were used for the determination of antiviral activity of the P. vera extracts by using Vero
cell line. The extracts showed little antibacterial activity between the ranges of 128–256 µg/ml
concentrations whereas they had noticeable antifungal activity at the same concentrations.
MATERIAL AND METHOD
Antifungal activity of plants extract was determined by the agar tube dilution method. (Atta,
et.al., 1999). Seven fungal strains were slected for antifungal strains. Trichoderma viridis
(FCBP# 642) (T.viridis) Aspergillus flavus (FCBP# 647) (A.flavusi), Fusarium laterifum
(FCBP# 624) (F.laterifum), Aspergillus fumigatus (FCBP# 474) (A.fumigatus) Candida albicans
(FCBP# 478) (C.albicans) were obtained from the department of Mycology and Plant Patholgy,
University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore. Two identified fungal strains
Trichophyton mentogrophytes and Microsporum canis were obtained from the Main
Microbiology Laboratory of Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
Test samples of plant extracts were dissolved in sterile DMSO to serve as stock solution.
Different concentrations were prepared from the stock solution of the plant crude extracts.
Sabouraud dextrose was used to grow the fungal strains in test tube . Each tube was inoculated
with a seven day old culture of fungi. All culture containing tubes were inoculated with
105(CFU)/ mL-1 fungal spore suspensions at optimum temperature of 28-30°C for growth for 7-
10 days. Humidity (40% - 50%) was controlled by plane an open pan of water in the incubator.
Pure solvents were used as control as negative control. Other wells were supplemented with
reference compounds i.e. Ketoconazole, Econazole, Nystatin, Amphotericin, Clotrimazole and
Miconazole as positive control. After the incubation for 7-10 days the test tubes with no visible
growth of the microorganism was taken to represent the zone of inhibition of the test sample
which was expressed in µg/ml. The test was carried out in triplicate and their means were
The results of zone of inhibition were analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) with
completely randomized block design. The significant difference between extracts and standard
discs against seven fungal strains were analyzed by statistically taking the level of significance at
Antifungal activity of Withania coagulans and Tamarix aphylla extracts were checked by using
serial dilution tube method [Atta et. al. (2001)] against seven different fungal strains i.e.
Trichoderma viridis, Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium laterifum, Aspergillus fumigatus,
Trichophyton mentogrophytes, Microsporum canis and Candida albicans. The zones of
inhibitions were measured and statistical analysis was applied on the results of antifungal assay.
Methanolic, pet ether and Dichloromethane extract of Withania coagulans and Tamarix aphylla
, at the concentration of 25µg/ml were used against each of the seven fungal strains. The fungal
strains were checked against the following standards Ketoconazole, Econazole, Nystatin,
Amphotericin, Clotrimazole and Miconazole as positive control. (Table -1)
The pet ether, methanolic and dichloromethane extract of Withania coagulans showed highest
activity against all the tested fungal strains Trichoderma viridis, Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium
laterifum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Trichophyton mentogrophytes, Microsporum canis and
Candida albicans.Their caculated F-vaules were greater then the F-table value. (2.67, 3.98 and
2.99) (Table -2)
The methanolic extract of Tamarix aphylla showed only the best activity against the fungal
strains (F-vaue-2.67) while rest of the other extracts showed insignificant results. (Table 1 & 2)
Table -1: In vitro antifungal activity of different extracts of ethnomedicinal plants
Withana coagulans and Tamarix aphylla are ethnomedicinal plants of Pakistan. These plants are
widely used by the local practioners of the different areas of Pakistan. These plants are widely
available in the different parts of country as a wild crop. Fungal strains taken under consideration
are the major cause of fungal allergies and other infections. These plants have anti fungal
potential. These plants are safe and have no lethality.
These plant extract now further taken for pharmacological activity.
1. Berrin O, et al., (2005) Antifungal and antibacterial activity of some herbal remedies
from Tanzania. J Ethnopharmacol, 96, 461-9.
2. Goldstein A, Aronow L. and Kalman S. M., (1974) Principles of drug action: The basis of
Pharmacology, 2nd Ed. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 741.
3. Kinghom A.D. (1993) Inc Discovery of Natural Products with Therapeutic Potential,
Qinghaosu (artemisinin): an antimalarial drug from China Science, 228, 1049.
4. Klayman, D.L., Lin A. J., Acton N., Scovill J. P., Hoch J.M., Milhouse W.K. (1984)
Antimalarial Activity of Some Kenyan Medicinal Plants. J. Nat. Prod., 47, 715.
5. Lenaz L.,Defuria M.D., (1993) Taxol, a novel natural product with significant anticancer
activity, Fitotrapia, LXIV, Suppl. N.I.
6. Atta-ur-Rehman, Choudhary, M.I and William, J.T. (1999), Manual of Bioassay
Techniques for Natural Product Research. Harward Academic Press, Amsterdam.82-84
7. Nair, M.S.R., Acton, N., Klayman, D.L., Kendrick, K.,. Basile, D.V., and S. Mante.,
(1986) Production of artemisinin in tissue cultures of Artemisia annua. J. Nat. Prod. 49:
8. Tyler, V. E., Brady, L.R. and Robbers, J. E., (1988) Pharmacognosy. 9th ed. Phil
9. S. Thirach, K. Tragoolpua, S. Punjaisee, C. Khamwan, C. Jatisatienr, N.
Kunyanone(2005) Antifungal Activity of Some Medicinal Plant Extracts against Candida
Albicans and Cryptococcus Neoformans ISHS Acta Horticulturae 597: International
Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Part II)
10. K. A. Hammer , C. F. Carson and T. V. Riley (2001) Antimicrobial activity of essential
oils and other plant extracts Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol 86 Issue
6, Pages 985 – 990
11. Magro.A; Bastos.M; Carolino.M and Mexia.A (2007)Bulletin-OILB/SROP.; 30(2): 291-