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Pathog Dis. 2017 Aug 31;75(6). doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftx072.

Efficacy of Histatin5 in a murine model of vulvovaginal candidiasis caused by Candida albicans.

Liao H1,2, Liu S1,2, Wang H1,2, Su H1,2, Liu Z1,2.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecologic, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, 610065 Chengdu, China.
Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children (Sichuan University), Ministry of Education, 610065 Chengdu, China.


Histatin5 (Hst-5) is a member of the histatin family of antimicrobial peptides secreted by human parotid and submandibular glands. With the natural antibacterial activity, it plays an important role in the first-line barrier of oral cave against pathogens, especially for the fungal intrusion. In this study, we explored the utility of Hst-5 in the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis, a common condition of women of the childbearing age. We used a synthesized Hst-5 over five consecutive days as the topical treatment in a murine model of vulvovaginal candidiasis. According to the fungal colony counts, fungal burden in the vagina lavage dropped remarkably after treatment with Hst-5. Furthermore, cytological analysis of the lavage fluid indicated that the number of cast-off cells including cornified epithelial cells and inflammatory cells also decreased; histological evaluation of the vagina tissue revealed less fungi adhering to the vaginal wall in treated animals than in controls. Combined, these results suggested for the first time the potential utility of Hst-5 as a topical treatment for vulvovaginal candidiasis, uncovering the possibility of exploiting the natural antibiotic peptides in other aspects.


Candida albicans; antimicrobial peptide; fungicidal activity; histatin-5; reproductive tract infection; vulvovaginal candidiasis

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