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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Screening of Tanzanian medicinal plants for anti-Candida activity

Deborah KB Runyoro1, Mecky IN Matee2, Olipa D Ngassapa1*, Cosam C Joseph3 and Zakaria H Mbwambo4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences P.O Box 65013, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, P. O Box 65001, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

3 Department of Chemistry, University of Dar Es Salaam, P.O Box 35065, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

4 Institute of Traditional Medicine, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, P. O Box 65001, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:11  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-11

Published: 30 March 2006

Abstract

Background

Candida albicans has become resistant to the already limited, toxic and expensive anti-Candida agents available in the market. These factors necessitate the search for new anti-fungal agents.

Methods

Sixty-three plant extracts, from 56 Tanzanian plant species obtained through the literature and interviews with traditional healers, were evaluated for anti-Candida activity. Aqueous methanolic extracts were screened for anti-Candida activity by bioautography agar overlay method, using a standard strain of Candida albicans (ATCC 90028).

Results

Twenty- seven (48%) out of the 56 plants were found to be active. Extracts of the root barks of Albizia anthelmintica and Balanites aegyptiaca, and roots of Plectranthus barbatus showed strong activity.

Conclusion

The extracts that showed strong anti-Candida activity are worth of further investigation in order to isolate and identify the active compounds.