Searching new antifungals: The use of in vitro and in vivo methods for evaluation of natural compounds
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In the last decades, the increased number of immunocompromised patients has led to the emergence of many forms of fungal infections. Furthermore, there are a restricted arsenal of antifungals available and an increase in the development of resistance to antifungal drugs. Because of these disadvantages, the search for new antifungal agents in natural sources has increased. The development of these new antifungal drugs involves various steps and methodologies. The evaluation of the in vitro antifungal activity and cytotoxicity are the first steps in the screening. There is also the possibility of antifungal combinations to improve the therapy and reduce toxicity. Despite that, the application of the new antifungal candidate could be used in association with photodynamic therapy or using nanotechnology as an ally. In vivo tests can be performed to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity using conventional and alternative animal models. In this work, we review the methods available for the evaluation of the antifungal activity and safety of natural products, as well as the recent advances of new technology in the application of natural products for antifungal therapy.
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