Title : Anti-Candida activity of some essential oils from wild plants growing in Corsica island belonging to the genus Mentha
Candidosis is today the most important cause of fungal infections in humans, and Candida albicans, an opportunistic pathogen, is responsible of the majority of yeast infections, more and more frequent because of the increase of the number of immunosuppressed patients, the excessive use of antibiotics, immune-suppressor therapies. The number of antifungal agents is limited. The most commonly used antifungal for the treatment of candidoses belongs to the azoles family (fluconazole, ketoconazole and itraconazole), and polyenes (nystatin and amphotericin B). Excessive use of these drugs is one of the factors that may favor the development of resistant strains to antifungals. That resistance is becoming a serious public health problem, which justifies the search for new alternatives with antifungal potential. Corsica, one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, is a hotspot of plant biodiversity characterized by a high rate of plant endemism. So that more than 2000 species of plants grow wild in the Island, 132 species being endemic. Among them, there are various aromatic and medicinal plants. Essential oils are mixtures of naturally occurring substances showing various biological activities. Numerous oils have demonstrated anti-oxidative, antifungal, or anti-inflammatory effects. Several species of Mentha have been studied on their chemical composition, antibacterial and antifungal properties by culture tests (inhibition, CMI), transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The mode of action of molecules depends of their structure. For example cis-cis-p-menthenolide and mintlactone, bearing the same p-menthanolide framework, possess the α–β unsaturated lactone substructure. They differ only by the position of the double bond (exocyclic or intracyclic), which is probably responsible for the difference in antimicrobial activity.