The antifungal activity and 5-lipoxygenase-inhibiting activity of extracts of five wild and three commercially used taxa of the genus Echinacea were investigated. The near-UV mediated antifungal bioassays included clinically isolated Cryptococcus neoformans, two Candida albicans isolates (D10 and CN1A) with amphotericin B resistance, as well as established and emerging filamentous fungal pathogens (Trichophyton tonsurans, T. mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum and Pseudallescheria boydii). Root extracts of the eight Echinacea taxa showed antifungal activity against most of the pathogenic fungi. The inhibition of the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) enzyme of the arachadonic acid pathway was determined by HPLC detection of a direct metabolic product (LTB4) of 5-LOX derived from stimulated rat basophilic cells. Root extracts of the three commercial species of Echinacea (E. purpurea, E. pallida var. angustifolia, E. pallida var. pallida) inhibited the 5-LOX enzyme. E. pallida var. angustifolia was the most potent of the three. The results show that Echinacea spp. have significant antifungal and antiinflammatory activity.

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Keywords 5-lipoxygenase, Antifungal, Antiinflammatory, Echinacea
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Journal Pharmaceutical Biology
Merali, S. (S.), Binns, S. (S.), Paulin-Levasseur, M. (M.), Ficker, C. (C.), Smith, M, Baum, B. (B.), … Arnason, J.T. (J. T.). (2003). Antifungal and Anti-inflammatory Activity of the Genus Echinacea. Pharmaceutical Biology, 41(6), 412–420. doi:10.1076/phbi.41.6.412.17828