Antifungal Effect of Neem (Azadirachta Indica A. Juss) Seed Extract on Malessezia Furfur and Rhizopus Nigricans

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  • Topic: Neem, Fungus, Azadirachta
  • Pages : 24 (5294 words )
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  • Published : January 7, 2013
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Chapter I
THE PROBLEM

Introduction
There are a lot of microorganisms present in the environment. These may be harmful or harmless that can greatly affect the environment. Fungi are generally adapted to environments that would be hostile to bacteria. Fungi are chemoheterotrophs, and, like bacteria, they absorb nutrients rather than ingesting them as animals do. However, fungi differ from bacteria in certain environmental requirements and in their nutritional characteristics. Fungi usually grow better with a pH of about 5, which is too acidic for the growth of most common bacteria. Organisms in the Kingdom Fungi may be unicellular or multicellular. Large multicellular fungi, such as mushrooms, may look somewhat like plants, but they cannot carry out photosynthesis, as most plants can. True fungi have cell walls composed primarily of a substance called chitin. The unicellular forms of fungi, yeasts, are oval microorganisms that are larger than bacteria. Fungi can reproduce sexually or asexually. They obtain nourishment by absorbing solutions of organic material from their environment- whether soil, seawater, fresh water, or an animal or plant block.

Today, increasing numbers of illnesses had been the main problem of different countries. The world are facing global crisis, and people are trying to discover alternatives. The prices of manufactured drugs are high. Their effectiveness and availability is not always assured. There are many alternatives today that helped a lot of people in terms of their effectiveness and availability for a lower price or no price at all. They are so called “healing wonders”. There are countless researchers pointing out that plants have certain healing powers, and it is only for the people to discover and utilize them. One of them is Neem tree.

The Neem tree, also known in Cagayan Valley as “mosquito tree”, has insect-repellant properties. Scientific studies have shown that Neem is a good fertilizer because it contains ingredients that block soil bacteria from converting nitrogenous compounds into nitrogen gas and protect plant roots from the onslaught of infestations and ants. Likewise, Neem has been scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure, blood clots, heart irregularities, cholesterol, and insulin dependency in diabetes, intestinal worms and peptic ulcers. Neem extracts are also helpful in the control of malaria and sleeping sickness.

There are already studies conducted to prove that Neem tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) can be used to cure infections caused by various fungi. If possible, the introduction of this plant as antifungal agent may be pleasing for the improvement of man’s standard of health through the production of medicines that are cheaper, more effective and has lesser side effects from that of synthetic drugs.

Statement of the Problem
The study aims to determine the antifungal effect of Neem seed extract on Malessezia fufur and Rhizopus nigricans. Specifically, it answered the following questions:
1. Can Neem Tree (A. indica A. Juss) seed extract inhibit the growth of Malessezia furfur and Rhizopus nigricans? 2. What is the zone of inhibition of the fungi using the following treatments:

2.1 Control (Ketoconazole tablet); and
2.2Neem Seed Extract (95%)?
3. Is there a significant difference in the zone of inhibition of the fungi using the treatments after 48 and 72 hours?

Null Hypothesis
There is no significant difference in the zone of inhibition of the two fungi using the treatments after 48 and 72 hours.

Scope and Delimitation
The study was delimited in testing the antifungal effect of neem seed extract on the two fungal species, M. furfur and R. nigricans. The researchers used two treatments with four replicates each and after 48 and 72 hours of incubation, the researchers measured the diameter of the zone of inhibition. Ketoconazole tablet (commercial fungicide) was used as the control (T1), T2 was the neem...
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