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In vitro antidermatophytic activity of Otacanthus azureus (Linden) Ronse essential oil alone and in combination with azoles




We determined the chemical composition and investigated the antifungal activity of Otacanthus azureus (Linden) Ronse essential oil (EO) against a range of dermatophytes alone or in combination with azole antifungals.

Methods and Results

Aerial parts of the plant were steam-distilled and the obtained oil was analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and 1H-NMR. It was shown to be largely composed of sesquiterpenes, with the main component being β-copaen-4-α-ol. Using broth microdilution techniques, this oil was found to have remarkable in vitro antifungal activities. Minimum inhibitory concentrations as low as 4 μg ml−1 were recorded. The analysis of the combined effect of the O. azureus EO with azoles using chequerboard assays revealed a synergism between the EO and ketoconazole, fluconazole or itraconazole against Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Notably, the O. azureus essential oil showed low cytotoxicity to VERO cells.


The O. azureus essential oil alone or in combination with azoles is a promising antifungal agent in the treatment for human dermatomycoses caused by filamentous fungi.

Significance and Impact of the Study

There is much interest in the study of essential oils for the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs. This study has highlighted the antidermatophytic activity of the O. azureus EO.