The antifungal potential of an endangered medicinal plant, Balanites aegyptiaca Del. and its in vitro raised calli was evaluated by agar well diffusion method. The alcoholic extract of fruits of parent plant as well as its callus showed good antifungal activity against various pathogenic and opportunistic fungi. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the extracts were determined by broth microdilution method. The MIC of alcoholic fruit extract of parent plant against tested fungi ranged from 3.05 to 24.0 µg/ml, whereas, the MIC of extract of in vitro raised callus ranged from 1.53 to 12.0 µg/ml. The present study shows that extracts of B. aegyptiaca contain good antifungal activity which could be used in the treatment of fungal infections showing resistance to currently used antifungal agents. As its calli also gave good results, in vitro cultivation of the explants may be used to obtain novel antifungal compounds even at places where it does not grow naturally and thus can be used in the treatment of various opportunistic and life threatening fungal infections especially in immunocompromised patients.
Key words: Balanites aegyptiaca, in vitro raised callus, antifungal activity, agar well diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration.
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