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Background: The increasing emergence of resistance to conventional antimicrobial drugs and the complicity of their usage is a serious challenge in Nigeria. In our previous report, it was demonstrated that methanol leaves extracts of Acacia nilotica, Ziziphus jujube Linn and Lawsonia inermis exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas flourecense, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.
Methodology: In this study, agar well diffusion method was employed to assess the antifungal potency of these plant extracts and were tested against Aspergillus flavus, Trichophyton rubrum and Candida albicans.
Results: Exclusive of L. inermis extract against T. rubrum at 100 mg/ml (zone of inhibition 34.33±1.89 mm). 100 mg/mL of all the extracts investigated have significantly lower (P<0.05) antifungal activity when compared to standard antifungal drug (Nystatin, 100 mg/ml). The activity of L. inermis against A. flavus was comparatively similar (P>0.05) to the control drug, but significantly higher (P<0.05) against both T. rubrum and C. albicans at 150 mg/ml. Conversely, the antifungal activity of A. nilotica extract against T. rubrum and C. albicans significantly surpass (P<0.05) that of the control drug, while Z. jujube Linn extract activity against C. albicans was comparatively similar (P>0.05) to it, but significantly higher (P<0.05) against T. rubrum. A dose dependent antifungal activity of the plants was observed, and L. inermis extract was the most potent antifungal agent with an MIC and MCF values of 5 mg/ml.
Conclusion: This study reveals that L. inermis leaves extract could be used as a sources of potential antifungal agents.