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Role of medicinal plants in the treatment of eumycetoma: A review

Shashank M. Patil, S. Jagadeep Chandra, M. K. Jayanthi, Prithvi S. Shirahatti, Ramith Ramu.


Mycetoma is a resultant infection of either fungi (eumycetoma) or bacteria (actinomycetoma). It is categorized under neglected tropical diseases, as it typically affects the economically backward communities of the endemic regions. The infection occurs with the invasion of etiological agents through the open wounds of the body. The cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue is characterized by the sinus formation and discharge. Primarily affecting the foot, it further spreads to other parts of the body. Eumycetoma has a worldwide distribution yet considered endemic, as it is restricted only to few countries. Diagnosis and treatment of the disease has been burdensome since poor response and unavailability of medical support in endemic regions. Microbiological and serological diagnostic methods have been unreliable except molecular diagnostics. Treatment with antifungal agents has given a mixed response, with only itraconazole being effective. These techniques are relatively expensive and cannot be afforded by people with weak economic background. In the context, it becomes essential to introduce phytotherapy to relieve the health and economic burden. Herein, we discuss few medicinal plants with profound antifungal activity towards eumycetoma. We highlight the possible course of actions that needs to be put forward to deliver the plant-based drugs to cure eumycetoma.

Key words: Mycetoma, eumycetoma, NTDs, diagnosis, treatment, antifungal agents, phytotherapy, plant-based drugs

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