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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Feb 1;183(1):89-94.

Influence of fluconazole at subinhibitory concentrations on cell surface hydrophobicity and phagocytosis of Candida albicans.

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Department of Pathology, P.O. Box 214, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) status influences virulence of Candida albicans and decreases the susceptibility of yeast cells to phagocytic killing. We tested whether subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole, which is widely used in the treatment and prophylaxis of candidiasis, affect CSH and the susceptibility of C. albicans to enzymatic digestion by glucanase and to phagocytic killing. Treatment of yeast cells with subinhibitory fluconazole concentrations resulted in greater phagocytosis. This effect was independent of CSH but may be related to increased cell wall porosity resulting from alterations in the cell envelope. The use of subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole in patients with competent phagocytes may contribute to resistance to candidiasis regardless of yeast CSH status.

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