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Antifungal activities of extracts from Thai medicinal plants against opportunistic fungal pathogens associated with AIDS patients


Dr Souwalak Phongpaichit, Natural Products Research Unit and Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand. Tel/Fax: +66 7444 6661. E-mail:


In this study, 36 extracts derived from 10 plant species were selected to screen for their antifungal activity against clinical isolates of Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans and Microsporum gypseum. Selection was based on their use by traditional Thai healers or their reported antimicrobial activities in an attempt to find bioactive medicines for use in the treatment of opportunistic fungal infections in AIDS patients. The disc diffusion and hyphal extension–inhibition assays were primarily used to test for inhibition of growth. Minimum inhibitory concentration was determined by dilution methods. The chloroform extracts of Alpinia galanga and Boesenbergia pandurata had pronounced antifungal activity against C. neoformans and M. gypseum, but exhibited weak activity against C. albicans. Alpinia galanga and B. pandurata are excellent candidates for the development of a remedy for opportunistic fungal infections in AIDS patients.