alexa Effect of suramin on the human pathogen Candida albicans: implications on the fungal development and virulence.

Author(s): BragaSilva LA, dos Santos AL, Portela MB, SoutoPadrn T, de Arajo Soares RM

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Abstract Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen that is of growing medical importance because it causes superficial, mucosal and systemic infections in susceptible individuals. Here, the effect of suramin, a polysulfonated naphthylurea derivative, on C. albicans development and virulence was evaluated. Firstly, it was demonstrated that suramin (500 microM) arrested its growth, showing a fungicidal action dependent on cell number. Suramin treatment caused profound changes in the yeast ultrastructure as shown by transmission electron microscopy. The more important changes were the enlargement of the fungi cytoplasmic vacuoles, the appearance of yeasts with an empty cytoplasm resembling ghost cells and a reduction in cell wall thickness. Suramin also blocked the transformation of yeast cells to the germ-tube and the interaction between C. albicans and epithelial cells. In order to ascertain that the action of suramin on C. albicans growth is a general feature instead of being strain-specific, the effects of suramin on 14 oral clinical strains isolated from healthy children and HIV-positive infants were analyzed. Interestingly, the strains of C. albicans isolated from HIV-positive patients were more resistant to suramin than strains isolated from healthy patients. Altogether, the results produced here show that suramin interfered with essential fungal processes, such as growth, differentiation and interaction with host cells. This article was published in FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol and referenced in

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