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J Med Microbiol. 2012 Jan;61(Pt 1):109-14. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.034124-0. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Small-molecule inhibitors of biofilm formation in laboratory and clinical isolates of Candida albicans.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Candida albicans cells have the ability to form biofilms on biotic and abiotic surfaces, such as indwelling medical devices. C. albicans cells can interconvert between budded and hyphal growth forms, herein termed the budded-to-hyphal transition (BHT), which is important for the formation of mature biofilms. Previous work identified 23 small organic molecules that could inhibit the BHT but did not affect C. albicans cell viability or budded cell growth. These BHT inhibitors were proposed to inhibit multiple signalling pathways regulating the BHT, many of which also regulate biofilm formation. However, only three of the BHT inhibitors, buhytrinA, ETYA and CGP-37157, were capable of inhibiting in vitro biofilm formation of wild-type laboratory C. albicans strains. When clinical C. albicans isolates were examined for their ability to form biofilms, only 11 of the 28 clinical isolates tested (39%) were capable of forming biofilms. Although buhytrinA, ETYA and CGP-37157 could inhibit the BHT of all 28 clinical isolates, they were only able to inhibit biofilm formation of a subset of these clinical isolates, with ETYA having 100% efficacy. These data indicate that the biofilm-forming capability of laboratory and clinical isolates of C. albicans, as well as the efficacy of BHT inhibitors against these different isolates, can differ dramatically. These differences between laboratory and clinical isolates should be an important aspect to consider when examining potentially new antifungal therapeutics.

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