Antifungal Activity of Saponin-rich Extracts of Phytolacca dioica and of the Sapogenins Obtained through Hydrolysis
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A saponin-rich extract of Phytolacca dioica L. berries, its acid hydrolysate, and its major aglycone, phytolaccagenin, were assayed for antifungal activity against ATCC standard cultures of Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, and against clinical isolates of these fungi. The activity of the extract was either low or negligible, but the hydrolysate, containing the sapogenins, including phytolaccagenin, and also pure phytolaccagenin, showed promising antifungal potency. Hydrolysis of a natural product extract is shown to be a useful modification leading to improved bioactivity.