Key words: saponins, 3-glucoside medicagenic acid, antifungal activity, Trichophyton mentagrophytes
The inhibitory effect of alfalfa saponin 3-glucoside medicagenic acid (3g-MA) on the human pathogen Trichophyton mentagrophytes has been reported previously by Zehavi and Polacheck. In the present study, the effect of 3g-MA on Trichophyton mentagrophytes strains isolated from skin lesions in Polish patients was tested, to assess the antifungal potential of the saponin against different strains, which might show variable susceptibility to antymycotic agents.
Fungal strains were obtained from skin lesions from Eastern-Polish patients. After culture and identification, the fungi were inoculated onto the test media containing 0, 10 or 100 mg of 3g-MA in 100 ml dissolved in Sabouraud broth. The microculture technique was used. Preliminary results have shown an inhibitory effect of 3g-MA on tested strains: the mean diameter of fungal colonies cultured on the control medium (no saponin added) was 15.1 mm (SD 3.2 mm), the mean diameter for the medium with 10 mg 3g-MA per 100 ml was 12.8 mm (SD 6.9 mm), and for 100 mg 3g-MA per 100 ml was 9.9 mm (SD 7.8 mm). The difference proved statistically significant (p = 0.043) for the concentration 100 mg/100 ml compared to control medium. The higher standard deviations of the measurements obtained from media with 3g-MA show that separate fungal strains belonging to one species show various susceptibility to 3g-MA.
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