In vitro comparison of the effect of honey and clotrimazole against Candida albicans isolated from vagina

Document Type : Original Article


1 Midwifery Dept., Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, I.R. Iran

2 Parasitology Dept, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, I.R. Iran


Background and aims: Candida albicans is the most common cause of Vulvovaginitis Candidiasis that is the most common vaginitis in human. It is estimated that more than 90% of these infections are caused by Candida albicans. Medical treatment for these infections is carried out with chemotherapeutic drugs such as azoles. The increasing resistance of C. albicans to the azoles as well as their probable side effects is public concerns. Therefore, research for new natural component having antifungal activity has been considered to be very important. This study was designed to compare the effect of honey and clotrimazole against Candida albicans isolated from vagina and standard strain. Methods: In this clinical trial study, Samples of vaginal discharges were prepared from 100 women with vulvovaginitis candidiasis. Isolation and complete identification of Candida species were performed andthe suspension of Candida albicans prepared for insemination. Different concentrations of honey and clotrimazol were prepared and 10 µl of yeast suspension was added and incubated. Then 10 µl of these medium was cultured. Finally, the number of yeasts was counted and MIC50 and MIC90 were determined in comparison with positive control. Results: Different concentrations of honey and clotrimazol inhibited the growth of Candida albicans. In MIC 50 the mean concentrations of honey and clotrimazol were 1.15±0.49 g/ml and 60.26± 6.24 µ g/ml respectively. In MIC 90 the mean concentrations of honey and clotrimazol were 3.10± 3.15 g/ml and 2.38±2.36µ g/ml respectively. This means that honey in 3.10 g/ml concentration had the same effect as clotrimazol with concentration of 2.38µ g/ml. Conclusion: Honey markedly inhibited the growth of Candida albicans and its effect was comparable to cloitrimazol.


1. Soper DE. Genitourinary infection and sexually transmitted deseases. In: Break J S. Break and Novak’s gynecology. Philadelphia: Williams & Wilkins; 2012.
2. Linda OE, Gretchen ML. Infections of the lower and upper genital tract. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed, Philadelphia: Mosby; 2012.
3. Barbar B, Hodgson RN OCN, Robert J. Kizior BS RPh. Saunders Nursing Drug Handbook 2009, 1st ed. USA: Saunders Pub; 2009.
4. Pelletier R, Peter J, Antin C, Gonzalez C, Wood L, Walsh TJ. Emergence of resistance of Candida albicans to clotrimazole in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children: in vitro and clinical correlations. J Clin Microbiol. 2000; 38(4): 1563-8.
5. Razzak MS, Al-Charrakh AH, Al-Greitty BH. Relationship between lactobacilli and opportunistic bacterial pathogens associated with vaginitis. N Am J Med Sci. 2011; 3(4): 185-92.
6. Khan FR, Ul Abadin Z, Rauf N. Honey: nutritional and medicinal value. Int J Clin Pract. 2007; 61(10): 1705-7.
7. Boukraa L, Bouchegrane S. Additive action of honey and starch against Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger. Rev Iberoam Micol. 2007; 24(4): 309-11.
8. Al-Waili NS. Mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil inhibits growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Arch Med Res. 2005 Jan-Feb; 36(1): 10-3.
9. Al-Waili NS, Akmal M, Al-Waili FS, Saloom KY, Ali A. The antimicrobial potential of honey from United Arab Emirates on some microbial isolates. Med Sci Monit. 2005; 11(12): BR433-8.
10. Al-Waili NS. Investigating the antimicrobial activity of natural honey and its effects on the pathogenic bacterial infections of surgical wounds and conjunctiva. J Med Food. 2004; 7(2): 210-22.
11. Banaeian-Borujeni S, Mobini GR, Pourgheysari B, Validi M. Comparison of the effect of honey and miconazole against Candida albicans in vitro. Adv Biomed Res. 2013; 2: 57.
12. Zarin Far H, Yadegari MH, Katiraei F, Etminan Rad S. Comparison of the ketokonazol and clortimazol against Candida albicans in women with chronic vaginitis in laboratory conditions. J Ilam Univ Med Sci. 2007; 15(1):1-7.
13. Cuenca-Estrella M, Lee-Yang W, Ciblak MA, Arthington-Skaggs BA, Mellado E, Warnock DW, et al. Comparative evaluation of NCCLS M27-A and EUCAST broth microdilution procedures for antifungal susceptibility testing of candida species. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2002; 46(11): 3644-7.
14. Moussa A, Noureddine D, Saad A, Abdelmelek M, Abdelkader B. Antifungal activity of four honeys of different types from Algeria against pathogenic yeast: Candida albicans and Rhodotorula sp. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012; 2(7): 554-7.
15. Estevinho ML, Afonso SE, Feas X. Antifungal effect of lavender honey against Candida albicans , Candida krusei and Cryptococcus neoformans. J Food Sci Technol. 2011; 48(5): 640-3.