Activity of phenolic compounds from plant origin against Candida species
Natália Martins, Lillian Barros, Mariana Henriques, Sónia Silva, Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira
Mountain Research Centre (CIMO), ESA, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Apartado 1172, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal.
Candida albicans and other Candida species have been highly associated with several opportunistic fungal infections. Their ability to develop host infections is incited by different determinants, being virulence factors the most highlighted. Molecular targets of the antifungal drugs are crucial components for determination of yeast survival. Ergosterol, nucleic acids and glucan are the most studied molecular targets to destroyCandida species, being considered the basis of the development of new antifungal drugs. However, increasing levels of resistant Candida species to the current antifungal drugs have been observed, making ineffective those agents. Thus, other therapies more effective and safer than the current ones, are being studied, namely the use plant of extracts enriched in phenolic compounds. In this sense, this manuscript provides an historical perspective of the opportunistic fungal infections, molecular targets of the current anti-Candida drugs, as well as a general description of the active principles present in plants, focused on the antifungal potential of whole plant extracts and isolated phenolic compounds, against Candida species.
Keywords: Phytochemicals; Plant extracts; Phenolic compounds; Antifungal activity; Candida species.