Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Candida albicans has become resistant to the commercially available, toxic and expensive anti-Candida agents in the market.
These factors triggered the search for new anti-fungal agents deriving from natural resources also determining the action
mode involved. The possible modes of action by C. spectabilis leaf extract were determined by potassium leakage study and the
effect of the extract on the cell wall, enzymes and morphology of C. albicans studied with cytotoxicity assay. The cytotoxicity
result showed that the extract is non-toxic with an IC50 value of 59.10μg/ml. In the potassium leakage study, the cells treated with
the extract caused a potassium leakage of up to 1039 ppm that was comparable to Amphotericin B-treated cells which released up
to 1115 ppm. The effects of the extract on the cell wall proteins showed that there were three major types of changes in the cell wall
proteins expressed by the treated cells; the presence of a new protein, the absence of a protein and a difference in the amount of
protein expressed. The activities of two enzymes; proteinase and glucosidase were determined but it was observed that the extract
had caused significantly higher activities of both enzymes, thereby concluding that this was not the mode of action relating to the
antifungal activity of C. spectabilis. The morphology of C. albicans cells treated with the C. spectabilis showed that the treated
cells had abnormal morphology whereby the cells appeared damaged and detached from each other. In conclusion, this study
demonstrated that C. spectabilis leaf extract as a good source of new anti-C. albicans compound(s) with various mode of actions.
Vijayarathna Soundararajan has completed her MSc from University Science Malaysia and had published 6 papers in reputed journals. This project
was funded by University Science Malaysia. Short Term Grants (304/CIPPM/639040).
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