Enhanced pathogenicity of Candida albicans pre-treated with subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis

Dhammika H.M.L.P. Navarathna, Jacob M. Hornby, Natasha Hoerrmann, Anne M. Parkhurst, Gerald E. Duhamel, Kenneth W. Nickerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the relative pathogenicity of Candida albicans treated with subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis. Previous studies indicate that these cells secrete 10 times more farnesol than do untreated cells. In our usage, subinhibitory means a concentration which causes a prominent decrease in turbidity but still allows some cell growth. Methods: C. albicans A72 cells were grown overnight in 0-5.0 μM fluconazole, washed, and inoculated in mice by tail vein injection. Groups of 15 or 16 mice were injected with 1.3 × 106 cells and mortality was recorded for 7 days post-inoculation. The levels of farnesol in control and treated C. albicans were determined by GC/MS. Results: The MIC50 for strain A72 was 0.125 mg/L (0.4 μM). Mice administered C. albicans pre-treated with 0.5 to 1.0 μM fluconazole died 2.5 to 4 days earlier and had 2 to 4 times higher mortality rates than mice given untreated C. albicans. Fluconazole (0.5 to 1.0 μM) pre-treated cells were 4.2 to 8.5 times more lethal (P < 0.001) than untreated cells. The extracellular, membrane bound, and intracellular farnesol concentrations of cells pre-treated with 1.0 μM fluconazole were 12-, 2- and 6-times those of untreated cells. Conclusions: The effects of fluconazole on C. albicans are very concentration-dependent. The enhanced pathogenicity of fluconazole pre-treated C. albicans in mice should be relevant to the therapeutic and prophylactic use of fluconazole. Further research is needed to explore whether farnesol production by C. albicans is a virulence factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1156-1159
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Candidaemia
  • Farnesol
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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