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Pharm Res. 1995 May;12(5):649-52.

Primary interactions of three quaternary ammonium compounds with blastospores of Candida albicans (MEN strain).

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School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The absorption of three quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC), cetylpyridinium chloride, cetrimide and benzalkonium chloride, onto the surface of blastospores of Candida albicans (MEN strain) was examined at room temperature. Equilibrium uptake occurred in less than 30 seconds for cetylpyridinium chloride and cetrimide whereas 5 min contact time was required for benzalkonium chloride. The adsorption of all three agents may be mathematically described as Langmuirian and hence a concentration-dependent formation of drug-monolayer on the surface of the blastospore occurred. From this the number of molecules adsorbed onto the surface of a single blastospore was calculated to be 1.33 x 10(12), 3.17 x 10(12) and 2.32 x 10(12) for cetylpyridinium chloride, cetrimide and benzalkonium chloride, respectively. These dissimilarities are most likely due to differences in the orientations of both the cationic nitrogen atom and the accompanying lipophilic portions of each QAC at the blastospore surface. Relating these observations to the known antiadherence effects of cetylpyridinium chloride and cetrimide, it can be concluded that monolayer coverage of the blastospore surface with QAC does not account for the observed reduced adherence. This suggests that the anti-adherence effects are due to either direct interaction with, or steric blockade of, adhesions on the blastospore surface.

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