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Chemical composition and antifungal activity of Matricaria recutita flower essential oil against medically important dermatophytes and soil-borne pathogens

Objective. — Fungal infections are potential public health threats all over the world. In the present study, effect of Matricaria recutita flower essential oil (EO) was evaluated against medically important dermatophytes and opportunistic saprophytes using microbioassay technique. 

Materials and methods. — Flower essential oil (EO) of M. recutita prepared by hydrodistillation was analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The effect of plant EO on the growth of pathogenic dermatophytes and opportunistic saprophytes was assessed using microbioassay technique. In the bioassay, fungi were cultured in 6-well flat-bottom microplates in presence of various concentrations of plant EO (2.5—1000 mg/mL) for 4—10 days at 28 8C. 

Results. — A total of 14 compounds were identified in the plant oil by GC/MS accounting for 97.5% of the oil composition. The main compound identified was chamazulene (61.3%) followed by isopropyl hexadecanoate (12.7%), trans-trans-farnesol (6.9%) and E-b-farnesol (5.2%). Growth inhibition for the dermatophytes exposed to serial two-fold concentrations of plant EO (2.5 to 80 mg/mL) was reported in the range of 3.24 to 68.15% for Microsporum gypseum, 24.48 to 100% for M. canis, 11.40 to 96.65% for Trichophyton mentagrophytes, 27.79 to 100% for T. rubrum and 45.73 to 100% for T. tonsurans. M. recutita EO inhibited the growth of opportunistic saprophytes by 3.98 to 64.29% for Aspergillus flavus, 6.38 to 93.62% for A. fumigatus, 3.52 to 89.45% for A. niger, 6.38 to 77.66% for Trichoderma harzianum and 17.41 to 89.41% for Fusarium oxysporum in serial two-fold concentrations of 15.62 to 1000 mg/mL. 

Conclusion. — Results of the present study indicate that M. recutita could be considered as a potential candidate for designing effective antifungal formulations suitable for treatment of dermatophytosis and other fungal infections.