In vivo protection of the marjoram (Origanum majorana Linn.) essential oil in the cutaneous sporotrichosis by Sporothrix brasiliensis

Thirty Wistar rats subcutaneously infected by an itraconazole-resistant Sporothrix brasiliensis received the oral daily treatment (n = 10, each) of control (CTL, saline solution), itraconazole (ITZ, 10 mg/kg) and marjoram essential oil (MRJ, 80 mg/kg) for 30 days. Weekly, the clinical evaluation and euthanasia for histopathology and fungal burden were performed. Only animals from MRJ evolved to the remission of the cutaneous lesion with a mild to absent presence of yeasts in footpad, besides decreased the fungal burden in the systemic organs compared to CTL and ITZ (p < 0.05), preventing the fungal spread, mainly in the liver and spleen. The antifungal activity may have been attributed to the majority composition of terpinen-4-ol (34.09%), γ-terpinene (14.28%) and α-terpinene (9.6%), which the mode of action was at the level of ergosterol complexation. These findings highlighted the antifungal and the systemic protective effects of MRJ, supporting the promising use in the treatment of cutaneous sporotrichosis.