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The global concerns regarding the emergence of fungicide-resistant strains and the impact of the excessive use of fungicidal practises on our health, food, and environment have increased, leading to a demand for alternative clean green technologies as treatments. Photosensitization is a treatment that utilises a photosensitiser, light and oxygen to cause cell damage to microorganisms. The effect of photosensitization mediated by curcumin on Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium griseofulvum, Penicillium chrysogenum, Fusarium oxysporum, Candida albicans and Zygosaccharomyces bailii was investigated using three methods. The viability of spores/cells suspended in aqueous buffer using different concentrations of curcumin solution (100-1000μM) and light dose (0, 24, 48, 72 and 96J/cm2) were determined. Spraying curcumin solution on inoculated surfaces of agar plates followed by irradiation and soaking spores/cells in curcumin solution prior to irradiation was also investigated. In aqueous mixtures, photosensitised spores/cells of F. oxysporum and C. albicans were inhibited at all light doses and curcumin concentrations, while inactivation of A. niger, A. flavus P. griseofulvum, P. chrysogenum and Z. bailii were highly significant (P<0.001) reduced by 99%, 88.9%, 78%, 99.7% and 99.2% respectively. On the surface of agar plates, spores/cells exposed to a light dose of 360J/cm2 sprayed with curcumin at 800μM showed complete inhibition for A. niger, F. oxysporum, C. albicans and Z. bailii, while A. flavus P. griseofulvum, and P. chrysogenum reduced by 75%, 80.4% and 88.5% respectively. Soaking spores/cells with curcumin solution prior to irradiation did not have a significant effect on the percentage reduction. These observations suggest that a novel photosensitization mediated curcumin treatment is effective against fungal spores/cells and the variation of percentage reduction was dependent on curcumin concentration, light dosage and fungal species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Fahad Al-Asmari, Ram Mereddy, Yasmina Sultanbawa. A novel photosensitization treatment for the inactivation of fungal spores and cells mediated by curcumin. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology. 2017 Aug;173:301-306

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PMID: 28623822

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