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Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate in vitro the antifungal activity of virgin coconut oil and the white palm kernel oil on the growth of six species of the genus Candida.
Study Design: This study is an experimental study.
Place and Duration of the Study: Department of Microbiology, Laboratory of Microbiology of the University of Yaoundé I. Laboratory of Bacteriology, Yaoundé University teaching Hospital between April to September 2017.
Methodology: We included six species of Candida. The method of diffusion discs in agar medium was used for Sensitivity tests and macro-dilution in liquid medium was used for dilution.
Results: Majority of the species tested were resistant to conventional antifungals used. Candida hoemulonii was the most sensitive species to virgin coconut oil with percentages of inhibitions higher than 50 % when the concentration of oil was only 3.125 mg/mL and a maximum inhibition percentage of 90.10 % when the concentration of oil was 100 mg/mL. Candida albicans, was the least susceptible species to virgin coconut oil with a maximum inhibition percentage of 59.85 % when the concentration of oil was 100 mg/mL. Candida lipolytica was the most sensitive specie to white palm kernel oil with a maximum inhibition percentage of 90,26 % when the concentration of oil was 100 mg/mL and Candida parapsilosis was the least susceptible species to white palm kernel oil with a maximum inhibition percentage of 52,69 % at the same concentration. In addition, the white palm kernel oil which was more active (P˂0.05) than virgin coconut oil was introduced in the Sabouraud broth and the MIC and MFC obtained with Fluconazole was lower on Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis compared to activity of Fluconazole without palm kernel oil in the medium. Nystatin showed also lower MIC and MFC values on Candida parapsilosis when palm kernel oil was present in the culture medium.
Conclusion: These results prove that these oils can be used to develop antifungals drugs.