2007 Volume 30 Issue 1 Pages 184-188
Essential oils have been widely used in anti-infectious application. In the present study, we elucidated the antifungal activities of eugenol and nerolidol isolated from Japanese cypress oil in a guinea pig model infected by Microsporum gypseum (M. gypseum). A minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), skin lesion scoring, hair culture and histopathologic examination of skin tissues were performed to evaluate the antifungal effect of these oils. The MICs of eugenol, nerolidol and econazole (positive control) were 0.01—0.03% and 0.5—2% and 4—16 μg/ml, respectively. Based on these MICs, eugenol and nerolidol were adjusted to 10% concentration with a base of Vaseline® petroleum jelly and were applied topically to the skin lesion infected with M. gypseum daily for 3 weeks. Both eugenol and nerolidol were clinically effective at improving the lesion during the first week of application, as determined by skin lesion scoring. Nerolidol improved the skin lesions infected by M. gypseum, but eugenol did not, as determined in the hair culture test. Histopathologic examination revealed that the eugenol- and nerolidol-treated groups had a lower degree of hyperkeratosis and inflammatory cell infiltration than the positive control. Taken together, these results suggest that eugenol and nerolidol could apply supplementary antifungal agents.