Background: Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen causing oral candidiasis. Commercially available antifungal agents are effective in eliminating C. albicans, however, their toxicity and high cost are undesirable. Potash Alum is a naturally occurring salt with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Therefore, Potash Alum can be effective against C. albicans.
Objective: The main objective of this study was to investigate the in vitro susceptibility of C. albicans to Potash Alum.
Methodology: Swab samples from 19 patients attending the oral medicine department of Rehman College of Dentistry were transferred to tubes containing Sabouraud Dextrose Broth. After identification of C. albicans by Gram-staining, a solution of 2-5 x 105 CFUs/mL C. albicans was prepared and subjected to MIC and MFC determination by the standard broth microdilution method. Potash alum concentrations of 5, 10 and 20 mg/mL were used. Commercially available Nystatin was used as a positive control.
Results: Our results show that 10 mg/mL of Potash Alum (PA) was able to inhibit growth of most of the clinical isolates of C. albicans. In 5 samples, even 5mg/mL was effective in inhibiting the growth of C. albicans. Results suggest a fungistatic rather than a fungicidal action of Potash alum against C. albicans.
Conclusions: We conclude that potash alum has a fungistatic action against C. albicans in vitro. In addition, the optimum in vitro concentration of potash alum effective in inhibiting growth of C. albicans was found to be 10mg/mL.
Key words: Candida albicans, potash alum, nystatin, antifungal, minimum inhibitory concentration, minimum fungicidal concentration