Medicinal plants are attractive sources in the search of bioactive compounds in the treatment of infectious diseases. Considering that the infectious agent often develops resistance to existing treatments rapidly, the searches for such compounds are a never-ending process. One such infection, caused by Candida spp. is candidiasis, which is a public health problem. Additionally, many strains have resistance to traditional therapies. Therefore, we tested the antifungal activity of four compounds present in Mentha spp. with promising antifungal precedents. We measured inhibition of growth by microdilution, disruption of biofilm viewed by electron microscopy, inhibition of germ tube formation by optical microscopy and toxicity on HaCaT cells. Tests showed that the compounds tested had antifungal activity with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 0.5 mg/mL, at least, 50% of biofilm inhibition in the 0.5 mg/mL concentration, an inhibition of polymorphism to 86% and the changes in the cell envelope of yeast (SEM) and cell viability above 50% among the Candida strains tested. Therefore, the compounds exhibit promising antifungal properties and provide a reasonable therapeutic window to be used in association with other traditional antimitotic.
Key words: Carvone, menthone, menthofuran, pulegone, Candida spp., biofilm, cytotoxicity.
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