Does the Ethnomedicinal Use of Pequi Oil for the Treatment of Infections Reveal its Antifungal Potential?

Welia Pereira De Araújo1, Maria Hellena Garcia Novais1, Naiza Saraiva Farias1, Henrique Douglas Melo Coutinho1, Marcos Aurélio Figuereido dos Santos1, Mikael Amaro de Souza1, Ademar Maia Filho1, Jácia Santos Oliveira Ramos2, José Thyálisson da Costa Silva1, Jailson Renato de Lima Silva3, Amanda Maria Tavares Moreira1, João Eudes Lemos de Barros4, Maria Flaviana Bezerra Morais-Braga1 and José Weverton Almeida-Bezerra1*

1 Regional University of Cariri, Crato – CE, Brazil

2 Faculty of Juazeiro do Norte, Juazeiro do Norte – CE, Brazil

3 Federal University of Cariri, Crato – CE, Brazil

4 Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza – CE, Brazil

*Corresponding Author: José Weverton Almeida-Bezerra, Department of Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences Course, Regional University of Cariri, 63105-000, Crato, CE, Brazil.


Received: November 06, 2023     Published: November 24, 2023



In Brazil, the use of medicinal plants has been on the rise over the years, especially as an alternative for the treatment of diseases caused by fungal infections. Fungal infections have become a major public health problem, primarily due to the indiscriminate and prolonged use of antibiotics. In this context, among the various species of the Brazilian flora, an endemic species stands out, Caryocar coriaceum, popularly known as "pequi," is widely used in nutrition and is also employed by the population for medicinal purposes to treat infectious diseases. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the chemical composition, antifungal action of the medicinal oil from Caryocar coriaceum, test the combined effect with the drug Fluconazole, and finally determine the chemical constituents present in the oil of pequi fruits. Initially, the fruits of this species were subjected to boiling in broth microdilution, and the combined effect with Fluconazole was assessed at sub-inhibitory concentrations (1/8 MIC), followed by spectrophotometric readings used to determine the IC50. The C. coriaceum species is composed of four fatty acids, of which two were more prevalent, oleic acid and palmitic acid. The fixed oil showed low antifungal activity when evaluated individually for Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis strains, with IC50 values of 593.8 μg/mL, exhibiting greater modification for the standard drug with IC50 values for C. albicans at 16.07 μg/mL and C. tropicalis at 4.77 μg/mL. However, for the Candida krusei strain, the fixed oil exhibited more potent antifungal activity than Fluconazole at concentrations of 32 μg/mL and 64 μg/mL, while Fluconazole had intensified activity at concentrations from 2 μg/mL up to 128 μg/mL. Regarding the potentiating action for Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis and Candida krusei strains, the oil associated with Fluconazole enhanced the antifungal effect with IC50 values of 0.02792 μg/mL for C. albicans, 0.09903 μg/mL for C. tropicalis, and 15.15 μg/mL for C. krusei. Thus, the oil contains promising compounds in its composition for the development of medications to treat infectious diseases.

Keywords: Candidiasis; Chapada do Araripe; Azoles; Caryocaraceae.

Citation: De Araujo WP, Garcia Novais MH, Farias NS, Melo Coutinho HD, dos Santos MAF, de Souza MA, Filho AM, Oliveira Ramos JS, da Costa Silva JT, de Lima Silva JR, Tavares Moreira AM, de Barros JEL, Morais-Braga MFB, Almeida-Bezerra JW. Does the Ethnomedicinal Use of Pequi Oil for the Treatment of Infections Reveal its Antifungal Potential?. SVOA Microbiology 2023, 4:3, 82-90.