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The antifungal effect of ethanolic extract of Piper betle (Piperaceae) was tested against selected zoonotic dermatophytes, namely Trichophyton mentagophyte, Microsporum canis and Microsporum gypseum. A broth dilution method was employed to determine the inhibitory effect of the extract, as well as those of ketoconazole and griseofluvin, which were included for a comparative purpose. The Piper betle extract suppressed the growth of dermatophytes in a concentration-dependent manner. The IC50 values were ranging from 110 to 119 μg/ml with an average Emax (at 512 μg/ml) of 94.12%. Meanwhile, the average IC50 & Emax (at 64 μg/ml) of ketoconazole and griseofluvin were 3.90 μg/ml & 100.00% and 9.10 μg/ml & 95.37%, respectively. Although the Piper betle extract appeared to possess less potency than ketoconazole and griseofluvin, ten times of its maximal concentration studied did not cause any significant irritation when applied directly on the abdominal region of the canine skin. Based on the current findings, it is suggested that the ethanolic extract of Piper betle leaves represents potentially useful anti-dermatophytes and is worthy of further investigation.
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