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Infect Immun. 1994 March; 62(3): 915–921.
PMCID: PMC186203

Biofilm formation by Candida species on the surface of catheter materials in vitro.


A model system for studying Candida biofilms growing on the surface of small discs of catheter material is described. Biofilm formation was determined quantitatively by a colorimetric assay involving reduction of a tetrazolium salt or by [3H]leucine incorporation; both methods gave excellent correlation with biofilm dry weight (r = 0.997 and 0.945, respectively). Growth of Candida albicans biofilms in medium containing 500 mM galactose or 50 mM glucose reached a maximum after 48 h and then declined; however, the cell yield was lower in low-glucose medium. Comparison of biofilm formation by 15 different isolates of C. albicans failed to reveal any correlation with pathogenicity within this group, but there was some correlation with pathogenicity when different Candida species were tested. Isolates of C. parapsilosis (Glasgow), C. pseudotropicalis, and C. glabrata all gave significantly less biofilm growth (P < 0.001) than the more pathogenic C. albicans. Evaluation of various catheter materials showed that biofilm formation by C. albicans was slightly increased on latex or silicone elastomer (P < 0.05), compared with polyvinyl chloride, but substantially decreased on polyurethane or 100% silicone (P < 0.001). Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that after 48 h, C. albicans biofilms consisted of a dense network of yeasts, germ tubes, pseudohyphae, and hyphae; extracellular polymeric material was visible on the surfaces of some of these morphological forms. Our model system is a simple and convenient method for studying Candida biofilms and could be used for testing the efficacy of antifungal agents against biofilm cells.

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