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Methylcellulose Hydrogel with Melissa officinalis Essential Oil as a Potential Treatment for Oral Candidiasis

Serra, E, Saubade, Fabien, Ligorio, C, Whitehead, Kathryn, Sloan, A, Williams, David, Hidalgo-Bastida, A, Verran, J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5539-6896 and Malic, S (2020) Methylcellulose Hydrogel with Melissa officinalis Essential Oil as a Potential Treatment for Oral Candidiasis. Microorganisms, 8 (2). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2076-2607

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Candida spp. are the most prevalent fungi of the human microbiota and are opportunistic pathogens that can cause oral candidiasis. Management of such infections is limited due to the low number of antifungal drugs available, their relatively high toxicity and the emergence of antifungal resistance. Therefore, much interest in the antimicrobial potential of natural compounds has recently been evident. The use of hydrogels in the delivery of biocides has been explored due to their biocompatibility, ease with drug encapsulation, and due to their potential to confer mechanical and structural properties similar to biological tissue. Methylcellulose hydrogels (10% (w/v)) with 1% (v/v) and 2% (v/v) Melissa officinalis oil were synthesised. The rheological properties and gelation time of the hydrogels were evaluated. Antimicrobial action, the antifungal potential and ability to displace Candida were determined. Rheological tests revealed that the hydrogel jellified in three minutes at 37 °C. Loaded hydrogels successfully inhibited Candida albicans growth as evident by zone of inhibition and time-kill assays. A significant reduction in retained C. albicans was demonstrated with the hydrogel at 2% Melissa officinalis concentration. This work demonstrated that an essential oil-loaded hydrogel had the potential to provide a novel antimicrobial therapy for the treatment of oral candidiasis.

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