Macroalgal activity against fungal urinary tract infections: in vitro screening and evaluation study

  • Nessma El Zawawy
  • Shimaa El Shafay
  • Abd El-Fatah AbomohraEmail author


Application of antimicrobial botanical extracts and other natural products is receiving increasing attention. The present study aimed to evaluate the antifungal activities of some macroalgae collected from Alexandria beach, Egypt for treatment of fungal urinary tract infections (UTIs). Methanol extracts of Ulva lactuca showed the highest recorded antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger, while Enteromorpha linza showed the highest antifungal activity against Candida tropicalis. In addition, methanol extracts of both macroalgae showed a significant urease inhibition of the corresponding fungi. Lineweaver–Burk plots indicated a reversible non-competitive mechanism for U. lactuca extract, whereas E. linza extract showed a reversible competitive inhibition. Fatty acids profile of methanol extracts of U. lactuca and E. linza showed predominance of octadecanoic acid and hexadecanoic acid (48.4% and 62.9% of total fatty acids, respectively). In addition, GC/MS results showed significant proportions of the biologically active compounds; benzodioxoles such as piperonylbutoxide, organochlorines such as p,p’-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in U. lactuca and phytosterols such as stigmastan derivatives in E. linza. The present study represents an advancement in the knowledge of the chemistry and antifungal potential of macroalgae against UTIs and offers promising trend for drug discovery from marine macroalgae.


Antifungal Biological activity Seaweeds Urease inhibition UTIs 



The authors are thankful to the Head of Urology and Venereology Department, Tanta University Hospital, Tanta, Egypt for providing the necessary help for carrying out the research work.

Author contributions

NAZ and SME contributed in experimental design and raw data collection and drawing figures/tables besides writing the draft of the paper. AEA organized the data, critical reading of the manuscript and submitted the paper to the journal. All authors have read and approved the manuscript in its present form.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval and consent to participate

All study procedures were implemented at Tanta University and urine sample collection was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee.


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Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Botany Department, Faculty of ScienceTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

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