Inhibitory Effects of Seaweed Extracts on Growth of Malassezia furfur and Malassezia restricta

  • Choi, Jae-Suk (RIS Center, Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Silla University) ;
  • Lee, Bo-Bae (RIS Center, Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Silla University) ;
  • Joo, Chi-Un (RIS Center, Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Silla University) ;
  • Shin, Su-Hwa (RIS Center, Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Silla University) ;
  • Ha, Yu-Mi (RIS Center, Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Silla University) ;
  • Bae, Hee-Jung (RIS Center, Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Silla University) ;
  • Choi, In-Soon (Department of Biological Science, Silla University)
  • Published : 2009.03.31


Fifty seven species of common seaweed from the coast of Korea were screened for antifungal activity against Malassezia species. Seaweeds as a source of bioactive compounds are able to produce a great variety of secondary metabolites with different activities. There are numerous reports on the biological activities of seaweeds against human pathogens, fungi, and yeasts, but only few contain data regarding inhibitory effects against Malassezia sp., a major cause of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. To help address this paucity of information, this work was carried out to examine the antifungal effects of seaweed extracts against M. furfur and M. restricta. Of the fifty seven species of marine algae screened for their potential antifungal activity, only 17 species (29.8%) exhibited inhibitory activity. In agar disc diffusion method, the ether extracts of Corallina pilulifera, Enteromorpha linza, Laminaria japonica, Symphyocladia latiuscula and Ulva sp. showed strong antifungal activity. To identify major constituents in seaweed extracts, four selected extracts were analyzed on' a GC-MS equipped with a flame ionization detector, and compared to spectral data from databases WILEY229.LIB and NIST107.LIB. Most constituents in seaweed extracts are fatty acid-related compounds. When we evaluated any acute toxicity, the ether extracts of the selected four species were not toxic in mice. According to these results, it can be suggested that these seaweed extracts are valuable for the development of therapeutic agents in treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Further investigations to determine its bioactive compound(s) are currently in progress.


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