Hormones modulate Candida vaginal isolates biofilm formation and decrease their susceptibility to azoles and hydrogen peroxide.
Med Mycol. 2019 Jun 29;:
Authors: Gonçalves B, Azevedo NM, Henriques M, Silva S
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is an infection usually caused by Candida albicans and increasingly by Candida glabrata, which has an intrinsically high resistance to commonly used antifungals. Candida species possess virulence factors that contribute to VVC development, as the ability to form biofilms in vaginal walls and intrauterine devices. It is known that VVC is promoted by conditions that increase the hormones levels, during pregnancy, however, the effects of hormones on Candida cells are poorly studied, especially in C. glabrata. Thus, the influence of progesterone and β-estradiol, at normal cycle and pregnancy concentrations, on biofilm formation and resistance of C. albicans and C. glabrata vaginal isolates, was analyzed using acidic conditions (pH 4). Biofilms of C. albicans developed in the presence of hormones presented reduced biomass (up to 65%) and impaired cells ability to produce filamentous forms. On the other hand, C. glabrata presented high adaptation to the presence of hormones, which did not affect its biofilm formation. Additionally, hormones impaired the susceptibility of C. albicans and C. glabrata cells to azoles, with potential clinical significance in the presence of pregnancy hormone levels. A similar result was obtained for the susceptibility to hydrogen peroxide, a biological vaginal barrier against Candida growth. Overall, the results of this study suggest that hormones may act as environmental cues promoting Candida protection from vaginal defenses and harmful conditions, what may have implications in Candida vaginal pathogenicity and treatment of VVC, especially in C. glabrata infections due to its high adaptability to vaginal conditions.
PMID: 31254346 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]