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Activity of purified fractions of Punica granatum L. on Candida spp. and SAP proteins, and analysis of gene expression, compared with antifungal drugs

Grant number: 11/51385-4
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2012 - February 28, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Dentistry
Principal Investigator:Jose Francisco Hofling
Grantee:Jose Francisco Hofling
Host Institution: Faculdade de Odontologia de Piracicaba (FOP). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The yeast cells of Candida genus are commonly found on inanimate objects, food, plants and animals, many of which Candida species are normally commensals in humans. However, physiological changes in the body of the host are sufficient for commensal species change to pathogenic form, causing infections, known as thrush, and even death of the host. These yeasts have several mechanisms of resistance related to its virulence, such as colonizing ability, causing damage directly or indirectly, may mislead the mechanical host defenses, and resistance to antifungal agents. Moreover, release various hydrolytic enzymes, among them, the SAPs, which help the colonization and infection of Candida spp. in different tissues and environments. Emerging strains resistant to antifungal agents have hampered antimicrobial treatment. For centuries, bark, leaves, flowers and fruits of Punica granatum L. (Punicaceae), popularly known as pomegranate has been used to treat diseases with antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antimicrobial activities. Among the constituents present in the fruit of Punica granatum L. are the alkaloids, several phenol, ellagic acid, gallic acid and tannins, the later known by its antimicrobial activity. Thus, researches evaluating interactions between antifungal and plant compound, acting together on strains of Candida spp., showing its hydrolytic action on proteins, such as SAPs, and cyitotoxicity of the plant compound, let to the development of new drugs, enabling also to evaluate whether there is synergy among these antifungals and plant compounds as well as better understand of its mechanical action. (AU)

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