Phytotherapy is a science that has gained great highlights in recent years. This is because, it presents a set of new compounds that can be used as drugs in the treatment of countless diseases, whose conventional treatments are still shown to be inefficient. In this sense, the treatment of dermatomycosis, a disease of great incidence in Brazil, with the synthetic antifungals currently available, besides being long and causing several side effects, is often not efficient due to the resistance developed by the fungi to these drugs. Thus, in the search for new antifungals, that present a smaller number of side effects and greater effectiveness, the researches with vegetal extracts have been intensified. In this sense, the vasodilator, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardioprotective and antiviral actions on the leaves of the Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze plant have been reported in the literature. In addition, the antifungal activity of plants of the Alternanthera species was found on fungi that contaminate plants and food (Rhizoctonia sp., Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus niger) and generate diseases in humans (Candida albicans). Also, in a pilot study, carried out in our laboratory, to evaluate the activity of Cerrado plant extracts on the fungus Trichopyton rubrum, the antifungal activity of this plant was observed. As for the Cerrado Biome, it is important to highlight that it is highly deforested and threatened by the advance of agricultural and livestock frontiers, and soon many of its vegetal species might disappear. Thus, given these data, this project aims to develop a new herbal medicine with antifungal activity, that is, it proposes the development of liquid soap for body and scalp aimed at the treatment of cutaneous mycoses. For this purpose, the ability to inhibit the vegetal extract of the leaves of Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze in relation to the growth of the microorganism Trichopyton rubrum will be evaluated. Subsequently, liquid soap for body and hair will be developed, enriched with the vegetal extract and its antifungal activity will also be proven. In addition, before these tests, it will be quantified the levels of phenols and flavonoids present in the extract, in order to establish a relationship between their pharmacological activity and phytochemical composition and proven the absence of cytoxicity. Finally, the quality and absence of toxicity of the soap will be defined to guarantee its therapeutic use. It is worth mentioning that the realization of this project will allow the development of a new antifungal, which might contribute to the treatment of dermatomycoses and, might lead to the sustainable use and preservation of this rich Brazilian Biome.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: