In the present study, we evaluated the potential of a liposomal formulation of the garlic oil component DAS (diallyl sulfide) in treating disseminated infection caused by the intracellular opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans in experimental mice. The PC (phosphatidylcholine) liposomal formulation of DAS was evaluated for size, ζ-potential, entrapment efficiency and release kinetics, toxicity etc. For therapeutic studies, mice were challenged with intravenous infection dosage of 107 blastospores of C. albicans followed by treatment with various doses of DAS formulations [12 and 6 mg/kg b.w. (body mass)] three times, on alternative days. The antifungal efficacy of liposomal DAS was assessed on the basis of survival of treated mice as well as the residual fungal load in vital organs like liver and spleen of mice. The results of the present study showed that treatment with DAS-bearing liposomes (12 mg/kg b.w.) resulted in the highest survival rate in animals. Liposomal DAS also significantly decreased residual fungal load in vital organs of experimental animals compared with the free form of DAS. The liposomal DAS was also found to be free of toxic manifestations as revealed by the erythrocyte lysis test and liver/kidney function tests. The results of the present study established that the antifungal activity of DAS, a poorly soluble compound, can be enhanced by the incorporation of it into liposomes. Further studies and optimizations are needed to build upon the promising findings of this study to enable the development of an effective plant-derived antifungal formulation that can provide an alternative to currently available antifungal drugs.

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