Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Title

Modern Approaches to Understanding Antifungal Activity of Traditional Medicines

Event Name/Location

Second International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society / Hyderabad, India - December 12-15, 2005

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

12-2005

Keywords

Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Traditional Medicines, Computer-aided Analysis, High-Throughput Technology, DNA Microarray and Gene Arrays

Abstract

The need to develop new antimicrobials is at the forefront of medical research. The approach of using ethnobotanical leads to identify compounds with antimicrobial activity is of particular interest as these remedies have been used by traditional healers for thousands of years with little or no adverse side effects. In this paper we discuss developments of novel assays, including array-based bioassays, that set out to determine the effect(s) of plant extracts on metabolic pathways of pathogenic fungi.

Although once a laborious task, the separation, identification and determination of mode(s) of action of plant-derived antifungals has now become more rapid and efficient due to new advancements in technology. Nevertheless, there are major bottlenecks to acquiring an understanding of the biochemical pathway(s) affected by natural products. Due to the enormous diversity of plants that may yield antifungal drugs and their complex biochemical interactions, large comprehensive databases are required that are readily accessible to the scientific community. These databases should incorporate information that spans diverse fields, from traditional healer-based knowledge and clinical studies to molecular biology bioassays.