Heparin-benzyl alcohol enhancement of biofilms formation and antifungal susceptibility of vaginal Candida species isolated from pregnant and non-pregnant Saudi women



Raid A Al-akeel1*, Talat A El-kersh1, Yazeed A Al-Sheikh1 & Ziab Zakey Al-Ahmadey2



1Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 10219, Riyadh 11433, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2Al-Ansar hospital, Ministry of Health, Medina, Saudi Arabia


Email; *Corresponding author


Article Type




Received March 07, 2013; Accepted March 08, 2013; Published April 13, 2013



Biofilm formation by Candida species is a major contribute to their pathogenic potential. The aim of this study was to determine in vitro effects of EDTA, cycloheximide, and heparin-benzyl alcohol preservative on C. albicans (126) and non-albicans (31)vaginal yeast isolates biofilm formations and their susceptibility against three antifungal Etest strips. Results of the crystal violet-assay, indicated that biofilms formation were most commonly observed [100%] for C. kefyr, C. utilis, C. famata, and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, followed by C. glabrata [70%], C. tropicalis [50%], C. albicans [29%], Saccharomyces cerevisiae [0.0%]. EDTA (0.3mg/ml) significantly inhibited biofilm formation in both C. albicans and non-albicans isolates (P=0.0001) presumably due to chelation of necessary metal cations for the process-completion. In contrast, heparin (-benzyl alcohol preservative) stimulated biofilm formation in all tested isolates, but not at significant level (P=0.567). Conversely, cycloheximide significantly (P=0.0001) inhibited biofilm formation in all C. albicans strains(126) and its effect was even 3 fold more pronounced than EDTA inhibition, probably due to its attenuation of proteins (enzymes) and/or complex molecules necessary for biofilm formation. Results also showed that all non-albicans yeasts isolates were susceptible to 5-flucytosine (MIC50, 0.016 g/ml; MIC90, 0.064 g/ml), but 14% of C. albicans isolates were resistant (MIC50, 0.064 g/ml; MIC90 >32 g/ml). The MIC50 value of amphotricin B for all C. albicans and non-albicans isolates was at a narrow range of 0.023 g /ml, and the MIC90 values were 0.047 g/ml and 0.064 g/ml respectively, thereby confirming its efficacy as a first line empiric- treatment of Candida spp infections.



Candida spp, Biofilm formation, EDTA, Heparin-benzyl alcohol, Cycloheximide, Antifungal agents.



Al-akeel et al.   Bioinformation 9(7): 357-362 (2013)


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P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



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