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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217771

Title: In vitro activity of CAY-1, a saponin from Capsicum frutescens, against microsporum and trichophyton species

item De Lucca Ii, Anthony
item SEIN, TIN
item Boue, Stephen

Submitted to: Medical Mycology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2008
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Citation: Stergiopoulou, T., De Lucca II, A.J., Meletiadis, J., Sein, T., Boue, S.M., Schaufele, R., Roilides, E., Ghannoum, M., Walsh, T.J. 2008. In vitro activity of CAY-1, a saponin from Capsicum frutescens, against microsporum and trichophyton species. Medical Mycology. 46(8):805-810.

Interpretive Summary: Dermatomycoses are among the most widespread and common fungal infections in humans. The increased number of individuals with impaired immunity following the treatment with cytotoxic drugs and immunosuppressive agents contributes to the increased prevalence of the disease. Although effective antifungal agents have been introduced into clinical practice over the last few years, some of these infections are still difficult to resolve completely, remissions and relapses are often observed particularly in immuno-impaired patients. This situation gives impetus to the search for new, safe novel and effective antifungal compounds. In recent years, plant peptides have been shown to possess potent antifungal activity. A previous report showed that CAY-1, a saponin from cayenne pepper (Capsicum frutenscens), had fungicidal activities against Candida albicans and Aspergillus species (7). CAY-1 also enhanced the activity of amphotericin B and itraconazole against the same organisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro activity of CAY-1 against conidia and hyphae of dermatophytes.

Technical Abstract: Dermatomycoses are among the world’s most common diseases. The incidence of dermatomycoses has increased over recent years, particularly in immunosuppressed patients. In previous studies, the saponin CAY-1, a saponin from cayenne pepper (Capsicum frutenses), has shown antifungal activities against C. albicans and Aspergillus species. In this report, we studied the in vitro antifungal activity of CAY-1 against clinical isolates of medically important common dermatophytes Trichophyton metagrophytes, T. rubrum, T. tonsurans, and Microsporum canis. Experiments to determine the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of CAY-1 (10-20 ug/ml) were performed by the microdilution method (CLSI document M38-A) against non-germinating conidia of these dermatophyte species. Using the colormetric XTT (2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-[(sulphenylamino)carbonyl]-2H-tetrazolium-hydroxide) metabolic assay, we also observed >90% inhibition of hyphal formation by these dermatophytes at 10-20 ug/ml of CAY-1. Results indicate that CAY-1 merits further investigation as a potential agent for the treatment of dermatomycoses.