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J Med Vet Mycol. 1987 Oct;25(5):307-18.

Aspects of the effect of bile salts on Candida albicans.

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Department of Chemistry, Loughborough University of Technology, Leicestershire, U.K.


Cholic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid, deoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid, glycodeoxycholic acid, hyodeoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid as their sodium salts, were fungistatic to the growth of Candida albicans. Of the compounds tested, cholic acid, deoxycholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid were the most active. In combination with other antifungal agents only cholic acid exhibited synergism with amphotericin B, whilst the imidazole antifungal agents inhibited the action of the bile salts. The bile salt minimal inhibitory concentrations were close to the critical micelle concentrations. Even though the compounds are surface active they did not cause loss of intracellular K+ and were without effect on oxygen consumption. The bile salts, particularly cholic acid, produced morphological changes that gave rise to swollen cells.

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