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Undecylenic acid is a monounsaturated, 11-carbon naturally occurring fatty acid that has been used supportively against fungal organisms since the early part of the 20th century, primarily as a topical agent for tinea pedis (athlete’s foot). Today, calcium and zinc salts of this fatty acid are the active ingredients in a number of over-the-counter preparations. Undecylenic acid is thought to exert its antimycotic activity by inhibiting cellular enzymes involved with lipid biosynthesis and interfering with the regulation of cytoplasmic pH. These metabolic disruptions are believed to limit the production of hyphae, or germ tubes, a major virulence factor associated with fungal cells.
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