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Synergistic Effect of Pseudolaric Acid B with Fluconazole Against Resistant Isolates and Biofilm of Candida tropicalis

Authors Li Z, Yin H, Chen W, Jiang C, Hu J, Xue Y, Yao D, Peng Y, Hu X

Received 12 May 2020

Accepted for publication 9 July 2020

Published 5 August 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2733—2743

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S261299

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony


Zhen Li,1,* Hongmei Yin,1,* Weiqin Chen,1 Cen Jiang,2 Jun Hu,1 Yingjun Xue,1 Dongting Yao,1 Yibing Peng,2 Xiaobo Hu1

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Xiaobo Hu
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 725 South Wanping Road, Shanghai 200032, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 1 376 121 6435
Email huxiaobo@vip.sina.com
Yibing Peng
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, No. 197 Ruijin ER Road, Shanghai 200025, People’s Republic of China
Email pyb9861@sina.com

Purpose: Candida tropicalis (C. tropicalis) has emerged as an important fungal pathogen due to its increasing resistance to conventional antifungal agents, especially fluconazole (FLC). Pseudolaric acid B (PAB), a herbal-originated diterpene acid from Pseudolarix kaempferi Gordon, has been reported to possess inhibitory activity against fungus. The present study aims to investigate the antifungal effect of PAB alone and in combination with FLC on planktonic and biofilm cells of C. tropicalis.
Methods: The antifungal activity of PAB against planktonic isolates was evaluated alone and in combination with FLC using the chequerboard microdilution method and growth curve assay. The anti-biofilm effects were quantified by tetrazolium (XTT) reduction assay, which were further confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescent microscope to observe morphological changes of biofilm treated with PAB and FLC.
Results: It was revealed that PAB alone exhibited similar inhibitory activity against FLC-resistant and FLC-susceptible strains with median MIC ranging from 8 to 16 μg/mL. When administered in combination, synergism was observed in all (13/13) FLC-resistant and (2/9) FLC-susceptible strains with FICI ranging from 0.070 to 0.375. Moreover, the concomitant use of PAB and FLC exhibited a strong dose-dependent synergistic inhibitory effect on the early and mature biofilm, eliminating more than 80% biofilm formation. SEM found that PAB, different from azoles, could significantly inhibit spore germination and destroy the cell integrity causing cell deformation, swelling, collapse and outer membrane perforation.
Conclusion: PAB was highly active against FLC-resistant isolates and biofilm of C. tropicalis, particularly when combined with FLC. These findings suggest that PAB may have potential as a novel antifungal agent with different targets from azole drugs.

Keywords: C. tropicalis, pseudolaric acid B, fluconazole, biofilm, antifungal susceptibility

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