Antifungal activity of epithelial secretions from selected frog species of South Africa
Resistance to antibiotics has been acknowledged as a major global public health problem. The use of antimicrobial peptides to provide alternatives to combat multi-drug antibiotic resistance is beginning to attract increasing attention. The high diversity of amphibian skin peptides renders anurans an important potential source for the discovery of novel pharmacophores. This study aimed to investigate the antifungal activity of skin secretions from selected frogs (Amietia fuscigula, Strongylopus grayi and Xenopus laevis) and one toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus) of the south Western Cape Province of South Africa. Initially, different extraction techniques for the collection of skin secretions were tested and optimized, thereafter the extracts were tested against three fungal species of medical and agricultural importance that is, Candida albicans, Fusarium verticillioides and Aspergillus flavus. Chemical stimulation gave the best yield by mass, and secretions from A. fuscigula showed the best activity with an MIC of 40 μg / ml against C. albicans and 200 μg / ml against A. flavus. In general, C. albicans and A. flavus were the most sensitive while F. verticillioides was the most resistant. From this study it appears that bioprospecting of South African frog species has the potential to yield potential therapeutic lead agents.
Key words: Antifungal, African anurans, antimicrobial peptides (AMP), Candida albicans, Aspergillus flavus, bioprospecting, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC).