Ethnopharmacological survey, antioxidant and antifungal activity of medicinal plants traditionally used in Baham locality (Cameroon) to treat fungal infections
Invasive fungal infections are important causes of mortality despite advances in antifungal therapy. The aim of this study was collect information on plants used by traditional healers for the treatment of fungal infections in the Baham subdivision (Western region of Cameroon) and to assess the in vitro antifungal and antioxidant potentials of the extracts from the medicinal plants surveyed. The antifungal activity was assessed by the broth micro-dilution method and the antioxidant activity was determined using the free-radical scavenging assays. The extracts for the plants Kotschya strigosa and Eryngium foetidum had potent antifungal activity with minimum inhibitory concentration value of 32 μg/mL against Cryptococcus neoformans. Eugenia gilgii extract had the highest free radical scavenging capacity in 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay (IC50 of 4.54μg/mL). There is a rich wealth of knowledge and usage of plants by traditional healers for the treatment of fungal infections and further studies should consider isolation of active compounds from the extracts in order to assess the potential for developing new, effective, safe and affordable phytomedicine for the treatment of fungal infections and other pharmacological applications.
Keywords: Ethnomedicine; Fungal infections; Antifungal; Antioxidant; Extract