Antifungal activity of cathelicidin peptides against planktonic and biofilm cultures of Candida species isolated from vaginal infections.

Antifungal activity of cathelicidin peptides against planktonic and biofilm cultures of Candida species isolated from vaginal infections.

Peptides. 2015 Jul 31;

Authors: Scarsini M, Tomasinsig L, Arzese A, D'Este F, Oro D, Skerlavaj B

Abstract
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a frequent gynecological condition caused by Candida albicans and a few non-albicans Candida spp. It has a significant impact on the quality of life of the affected women also due to a considerable incidence of recurrent infections that are difficult to treat. The formation of fungal biofilm may contribute to the problematic management of recurrent VVC due to the intrinsic resistance of sessile cells to the currently available antifungals. Thus, alternative approaches for the prevention and control of biofilm-related infections are urgently needed. In this regard, the cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of the innate immunity are potential candidates for the development of novel antimicrobials as many of them display activity against biofilm formed by various microbial species. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro antifungal activities of the cathelicidin peptides LL-37 and BMAP-28 against pathogenic Candida spp. also including C. albicans, isolated from vaginal infections, and against C. albicans SC5314 as a reference strain. The antimicrobial activity was evaluated against planktonic and biofilm-grown Candida cells by using microdilution susceptibility and XTT [2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfo-phenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide] reduction assays and, in the case of established biofilms, also by CFU enumeration and fluorescence microscopy. BMAP-28 was effective against planktonically grown yeasts in standard medium (MIC range, 2-32μM), and against isolates of C. albicans and Candida krusei in synthetic vaginal simulated fluid (MIC range 8-32μM, depending on the pH of the medium). Established 48-h old biofilms formed by C. albicans SC5314 and C. albicans and C. krusei isolates were 70-90% inhibited within 24h incubation with 16μM BMAP-28. As shown by propidium dye uptake and CFU enumeration, BMAP-28 at 32μM killed sessile C. albicans SC5314 by membrane permeabilization with a faster killing kinetics compared to 32μM miconazole (80-85% reduced biofilm viability in 90min vs 48h). In addition, BMAP-28 at 16μM prevented Candida biofilm formation on polystyrene and medical grade silicone surfaces by causing a >90% reduction in the viability of planktonic cells in 30min. LL-37 was overall less effective than BMAP-28 against planktonic Candida spp. (MIC range 4-≥64μM), and was ineffective against established Candida biofilms. However, LL-37 at 64μM prevented Candida biofilm development by inhibiting cell adhesion to polystyrene and silicone surfaces. Finally, Candida adhesion was strongly inhibited when silicone was pre-coated with a layer of BMAP-28 or LL-37, encouraging further studies for the development of peptide-based antimicrobial coatings.

PMID: 26238597 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]