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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-52

Comparative efficacy of tea tree oil nanoemulgel and clove oil nanoemulgel against Candida albicans

1 Department of Pharmaceutics, Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Amritsar, Punjab, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Amritsar, Punjab, India
4 Department of Orthodontics, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Amritsar, Punjab, India
5 Department of Oral Pathology, B.B.D Dental College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jul-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jasjeet Kaur Narang
Department of Pharmaceutics, Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Amritsar, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jphi.JPHI_14_18

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How to cite this article:
Narang JK, Narang RS, Singh B, Kahlon SS, George J, Dogra A. Comparative efficacy of tea tree oil nanoemulgel and clove oil nanoemulgel against Candida albicans. Int J Pharma Investig 2018;8:50-2

How to cite this URL:
Narang JK, Narang RS, Singh B, Kahlon SS, George J, Dogra A. Comparative efficacy of tea tree oil nanoemulgel and clove oil nanoemulgel against Candida albicans. Int J Pharma Investig [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Jun 24];8:50-2. Available from:

Dear Sir,

Candida, a type of fungus, can cause infections, which can be either local or systemic. The human body hosts small amounts of this fungus under normal conditions. However, problems arise when it begins to multiply and creates an overgrowth. Although more than 150 species of Candida exist, the majority of infections are caused by a species called Candida albicans. The prognosis for candida infections is often very good. In general, the condition is not serious and can be easily treated.[1]

The majority of synthetic therapeutic agents used to treat candida infections suffer from various disadvantages such as they are toxic, expensive, and have to be administered frequently.[2] To overcome the drawbacks of synthetic antifungal agents, the use of plant-derived products as disease control agents has been explored. These phytotherapeutics are reported to have low mammalian toxicity, less environmental effects, and wide public acceptance.[3]

Plant-derived essential oils have been extensively used as natural antimicrobial agents, with applications ranging from pharmaceutical industry to food sector and cosmetic sector. These natural oils effectively inhibit the growth of a wide range of microorganisms, with fewer side effects as compared to synthetic antimicrobials available. Among the different essential oils explored, clove oil has been widely investigated due to its popularity, availability, and high essential oil content.[4] Clove oil has been reported to possess strong antifungal activity against opportunistic fungal pathogens such as C. albicans. The essential ingredient responsible for its antifungal activity is eugenol.[5]

Besides clove oil, tea tree oil (TTO) is another essential oil, whose therapeutic properties have come under increasing scrutiny both in vitro and in vivo. It is a volatile essential oil derived from Melaleuca alternifolia. It has been used extensively for its antimicrobial properties; TTO is incorporated as the active ingredient in many topical formulations for treating cutaneous infections, besides being marketed over the counter in Australia, Europe, and North America for the treatment of various ailments.[6]

In the present study, an effort has been made to compare the antifungal efficacy of both TTO and clove oil after incorporating them in nanoemulgel formulations. The results obtained in cup–plate microbiological assay were compared with those obtained for placebo gel containing carbopol 934P alone.

For the study, TTO, clove oil, and carbopol 934P were purchased from Sigma Aldrich Pvt. Ltd. (Bengaluru, India). Transcutol P was obtained as a gift sample from Gattefosse (Saint-Priest, Cedex, France). Tween 20 and polyethylene glycol were purchased from the Central Drug House, New Delhi, India. All other chemicals and reagents were of analytical grade and procured from Merck (Mumbai, India) and S. D. Fine Chem. (Mumbai, India). C. albicans MTCC No. 227 was procured from the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.

The TTO nanoemulgel and clove oil nanoemulgel were prepared using aqueous titration method by incorporating carbopol 934P as a gelling agent. Plain carbopol 934P gel was made by accurately weighing carbopol 934P and dissolving in distilled water to get 2% w/v concentration.

In vitro antifungal activity using cup and plate method was done as per the procedure given by Maebashi et al. and Vijaya et al. From the C. albicans suspension (1 × 107 cfu/ml), 50 μl suspension was taken and spread on Sabouraud dextrose agar plates aseptically with the help of sterile cotton swab. It was allowed to dry at room temperature with the lid closed. Then, three wells (3 mm diameter) were punched using sterile core borer into the agar medium and filled with TTO nanoemulgel (1 g), clove oil nanoemulgel (1 g), and plain carbopol 934P gel (1 g), respectively. The plates were then incubated at 28°C for 18–24 h and zone of inhibitions calculated.[7],[8] The results were expressed as mean ± standard deviation (S.D.). The data obtained from various groups were statistically analyzed using GraphPad InStat 3 (GraphPad Software, San Diego, California), using two-tailed paired t-test. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

The zone of inhibition for TTO nanoemulgel (38 ± 1.4 mm) was found to be significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) as compared to that of clove oil nanoemulgel (21 ± 1.5 mm) and plain carbopol 934P gel (00 mm). The larger zone of inhibition for TTO-loaded nanoemulgel could be attributed to more pronounced antifungal activity of TTO as compared to clove oil. As per reports in literature, TTO inhibits the growth of fungus by inhibition of synthesis of ergosterol, a component required for maintaining the integrity of the fungal cell walls. The results are given in [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Observations of zones of inhibition for different formulations evaluated against strain of Candida albicans at different time intervals

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Figure 2: Comparison of zones of inhibition for different formulations during in vitro antifungal activity against Candida albicans (MTCC No. 227)

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It can thus be concluded that nanoemulgel of TTO significantly increases the antifungal activity of TTO against C. albicans as compared to clove oil nanoemulgel and carbopol 934P gel and therefore can be used successfully for the treatment of candidiasis.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Papadopoulos J. Hematogenous candidiasis in critically ill adult patients: Epidemiology, risk factors and management. J Pharm Pract 1998;11:437-51.  Back to cited text no. 1
Abad MJ, Ansuategui M, Bermejo P. Active antifungal substances from natural sources. Arkivoc 2007;7:116-45.  Back to cited text no. 2
Benincasa M, Buiarelli F, Cartoni GP, Coccioli F. Analysis of lemon and bergamot essential oils by HPLC with microbore columns. Chromatographia 1990;30:271-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Park MJ, Gwak KS, Yang I, Choi WS, Jo HJ, Chang JW, et al. Antifungal activities of the essential oils in Syzygium aromaticum (L.) merr. Et Perry and Leptospermum petersonii bailey and their constituents against various dermatophytes. J Microbiol 2007;45:460-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Panizzi L, Flamini G, Cioni PL, Morelli I. Composition and antimicrobial properties of essential oils of four Mediterranean Lamiaceae. J Ethnopharmacol 1993;39:167-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV. Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. J Appl Microbiol 2003;95:853-60.  Back to cited text no. 6
Maebashi K, Itoyama T, Uchida K, Suegara N, Yamaguchi H. A novel model of cutaneous candidiasis produced in prednisolone-treated guinea-pigs. J Med Vet Mycol 1994;32:349-59.  Back to cited text no. 7
Vijaya R, Kumar SS, Kamalakannan S. Preparation and in vitro evaluation of miconazole nitrate nanoemulsion using tween 20 as surfactant for effective topical/transdermal delivery. J Chem Pharm Sci 2014;8:92-8.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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