Interactions between human phagocytes and candida albicans biofilms alone and in combination with antifungal agents

Aspasia Katragkou, Michael J. Kruhlak, Maria Simitsopoulou, Athanasios Chatzimoschou, Anna Taparkou, Catherine J. Cotten, Fotini Paliogianni, Eudoxia Diza-Mataftsi, Chaido Tsantali, Thomas J. Walsh, Emmanuel Roilides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background. Biofilm formation is an important component of vascular catheter infections caused by Candida albicans. Little is known about the interactions between human phagocytes, antifungal agents, and Candida biofilms. Methods. The interactions between C. albicans biofilms and human phagocytes alone and in combination with anidulafungin or voriconazole were investigated and compared with their corresponding planktonic counterparts by means of an in vitro biofilm model with clinical intravascular and green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing strains. Phagocyte-mediated and antifungal agent-mediated damages were determined by 2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4nitro-5-sulfophenyl]2H- tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide assay, and structural effects were visualized by confocal microscopy. Oxidative burst was evaluated by flow cytometric measurement of dihydrorhodamine 123 oxidation, and cytokine release was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. Phagocytes alone and in combination with antifungal agents induced less damage against biofilms compared with planktonic cells. However, additive effects occurred between phagocytes and anidulafungin against Candida biofilms. Confocal microscopy demonstrated the absence of phagocytosis within biofilms but marked destruction caused by anidulafungin and phagocytes. Anidulafungin but not voriconazole elicited tumor necrosis factor a release from phagocytes compared with that from untreated biofilms. Conclusions. C. albicans within biofilms are more resistant to phagocytic host defenses but are susceptible to additive effects between phagocytes and an echinocandin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1949
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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