SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online


Cienc. Rural vol.44 no.12 Santa Maria Dec. 2014


Press Release

Study shows antifungal activity of Moringa oleifera in farmed prawns

Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira Brilhante

Researchers from Universidade Estadual do Ceará and from Universidade Federal do Ceará, of Ceará, Brazil, demonstrated that the chloroform extract of Moringa oleifera flowers has antifungal activity against the fungi isolated from shrimp grown in freshwater. The study was published in Ciência Rural jornal, v.44, issue 12, of December 2014.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the antifungal activity of M. oleifera extracts against fungi isolated shrimp and test its toxicity in larvae of Macrobrachium amazonicum. For this, the researchers tested the ethanol extracts of pods, seeds, leaves, stems and flowers of M. oleifera against 14 strains of Candida spp. and 10 strains of Hortaea werneckii isolated in water cultivation and in the digestive tract of M. amazonicum. The antifungal activity was determined by microdilution, based on the M27 and M38-A3-A2 CLSI document. Toxicity was evaluated by exposing larvae of M. amazonicum at concentrations of between 10-1000 mg ml-1 extracts, by performing counting dead larvae (LC50) after 24 hours.

The results showed that different Moringa oleifera extracts presented antifungal activity against Candida spp. and H.werneckii. The chloroform extract of Moringa oleifera flowers showed the better antifungal activity, inhibiting the growth of all tested fungal strains. The ethanol extracts of leaves, flowers and seeds also showed an antifungal activity by inhibiting 22/24, 21/24 and 20/24 strains, respectively. The pods extract was effective against strains of Candida spp. (14/24) and stem extracts only against four strains of H. werneckii (4/24). Seed extracts, flowers (chloroform fraction), stems and leaves showed low or no toxicity, while pods and flowers extracts (ethanol fraction) showed moderate toxicity.

According to the researcher Sâmia Brilhante, in practice, the study results bring perspective to the use of extracts of the Moringa oleifera as an alternative to the practice of sustainable shrimp farming. "The study may help reduce the environmental impact of shrimp production, by reducing eutrophication and load of potentially pathogenic microorganisms in untreated wastewater disposed in shrimp farming, as well as in the microbiota of farmed shrimp," she says.

The use of Moringa oleifera in the treatment of water for human consumption is already well reported in regions with low income population, especially in Africa. In other studies this plant showed inhibitory action against bacterial and fungal species, including species with potential pathogenic for humans and animals. The innovation of this study is to connect with research on water treatment and inhibition of isolated fungi in shrimp culture by the use of Moringa oleifera extracts, which had not yet been reported.

Researcher: Sâmia Brilhante E-mail:

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