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Open Microbiol J. 2016 Feb 25;10:12-22. doi: 10.2174/1874285801610010012. eCollection 2016.

Antifungal Action of Methylene Blue Involves Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Disruption of Redox and Membrane Homeostasis in C. albicans.

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Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Haryana, Gurgaon (Manesar) -122413, India.


Candida albicans is known to cause infections ranging from superficial and systemic in immunocompromised person. In this study, we explored that the antifungal action of Methylene blue (MB) is mediated through mitochondrial dysfunction and disruption of redox and membrane homeostasis against C. albicans. We demonstrated that MB displayed its antifungal potential against C. albicans and two clinical isolates tested. We also showed that MB is effective against two non- albicans species as well. Notably, the antifungal effect of MB seems to be independent of the major drug efflux pumps transporter activity. We explored that MB treated Candida cells were sensitive on non-fermentable carbon source leading us to propose that MB inhibits mitochondria. This sensitive phenotype was reinforced with the fact that sensitivity of Candida cells to MB could be rescued upon the supplementation of ascorbic acid, an antioxidant. This clearly suggests that disturbances in redox status are linked with MB action. We further demonstrated that Candida cells were susceptible to membrane perturbing agent viz. SDS which was additionally confirmed by transmission electron micrographs showing disruption of membrane integrity. Moreover, the ergosterol levels were significantly decreased by 66% suggesting lipid compositional changes due to MB. Furthermore, we could demonstrate that MB inhibits the yeast to hyphal transition in C. albicans which is one of the major virulence attribute in most of the hyphal inducing conditions. Taken together, the data generated from present study clearly establishes MB as promising antifungal agent that could be efficiently employed in strategies to treat Candida infections.


Antifungal activity; Candida; Ergosterol; MDR; Methylene Blue; Mitochondria

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