Anti-biofilm properties of Peganum harmala against Candida albicans

Nourkhoda Sadeghifard, Elham Aboualigalehdari, Reza Mohebi, Sobhan Ghafourian


Background: Vaginitis remains as a health issue in women. One of the microorganism responsible for vaginitis with hard to treat is Candida albicans producing biofilm. Also, in Iran Peganum harmala was applied as a anti fungal in treatment for many infections. Therefore, this study goals to investigate the role of Peganum harmala in inhibition of biofilm formation by Candida albicans.

Material/methods: Organisms and identification Candida albicans were collected from vulvovaginal candidacies in Ilam province in the west of Iran. The isolates were cultured on Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) and then re-identified by germ tube test. Cell culture: The P. harmala extract was tested for its cytotoxicity effect on vero Cell Line. The percentage viability of the cell line was carried out by using the MTT assay. Biofilm formation assay Biofilm formation assay were performed as standard protocol. Anti biofilm formation activity determination of Peganum harmala Different concentration (1-15 ug/ml) of P. harmala was applied on those positive biofilm formation strains. Then, the biofilm formation assay as described above was performed to evaluate the efficacy of P. harmala on biofilm formation by C. albicans isolates.

Results: Biofilm formation in Candida albicans Our results demonstrated that among 100 yeast responsible for vaginitis, 27% (n = 27) of them were C. albicans. Our analysis demonstrated that all types of biofilm formation were observed; while the most biofilm formation observed as weak biofilm (37%, n =10) the lowest biofilm formation was observed for both moderate and strong biofilm formation (each, 7.4%, n = 2). The remaining strains (48.2%, n =13) showed no biofilm formation (figure 1). Peganum harmala as a candidate for inhibition of biofim formation in Candida albicans The IC50 for Peganum harmala was 15ug/ml (figure 3). The P. harmala in concentration of 12 ug/ml easily inhibited biofilm formation on strong biofilm formation strains; while the concentrations of 10 and 6 ug/ml inhibited biofilm formation in moderate and weak biofilm formation Candida albicans strains, respectively.

Conclusions: Our finding demonstrated that there is variation in biofilm formation in C. albicans. it seems to be necessary to investigate the traditional herbs against pathogenic microorganism. Our findings demonstrated the well anti-biofilm effectiveness of P. harmala aginst C. albicans. But more investigation including in vivo study needed to introduce P. harmala as anti-biofilm in C. albicans.

Figure 1. Biofilm formation among C. albicans collected from patients with vaginitis



abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

26th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
    • ECCMID 26th (2016)