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1.  Efficacy of the Clinical Agent VT-1161 against Fluconazole-Sensitive and -Resistant Candida albicans in a Murine Model of Vaginal Candidiasis 
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and recurrent VVC (RVVC) remain major health problems for women. VT-1161, a novel fungal CYP51 inhibitor which has potent antifungal activity against fluconazole-sensitive Candida albicans, retained its in vitro potency (MIC50 of ≤0.015 and MIC90 of 0.12 μg/ml) against 10 clinical isolates from VVC or RVVC patients resistant to fluconazole (MIC50 of 8 and MIC90 of 64 μg/ml). VT-1161 pharmacokinetics in mice displayed a high volume of distribution (1.4 liters/kg), high oral absorption (73%), and a long half-life (>48 h) and showed rapid penetration into vaginal tissue. In a murine model of vaginal candidiasis using fluconazole-sensitive yeast, oral doses as low as 4 mg/kg VT-1161 significantly reduced the fungal burden 1 and 4 days posttreatment (P < 0.0001). Similar VT-1161 efficacy was measured when an isolate highly resistant to fluconazole (MIC of 64 μg/ml) but fully sensitive in vitro to VT-1161 was used. When an isolate partially sensitive to VT-1161 (MIC of 0.12 μg/ml) and moderately resistant to fluconazole (MIC of 8 μg/ml) was used, VT-1161 remained efficacious, whereas fluconazole was efficacious on day 1 but did not sustain efficacy 4 days posttreatment. Both agents were inactive in treating an infection with an isolate that demonstrated weaker potency (MICs of 2 and 64 μg/ml for VT-1161 and fluconazole, respectively). Finally, the plasma concentrations of free VT-1161 were predictive of efficacy when in excess of the in vitro MIC values. These data support the clinical development of VT-1161 as a potentially more efficacious treatment for VVC and RVVC.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00185-15
PMCID: PMC4538529  PMID: 26124165
2.  Candida albicans forms biofilms on the vaginal mucosa 
Microbiology  2010;156(Pt 12):3635-3644.
Current understanding of resistance and susceptibility to vulvovaginal candidiasis challenges existing paradigms of host defence against fungal infection. While abiotic biofilm formation has a clearly established role during systemic Candida infections, it is not known whether C. albicans forms biofilms on the vaginal mucosa and the possible role of biofilms in disease. In vivo and ex vivo murine vaginitis models were employed to examine biofilm formation by scanning electron and confocal microscopy. C. albicans strains included 3153A (lab strain), DAY185 (parental control strain), and mutants defective in morphogenesis and/or biofilm formation in vitro (efg1/efg1 and bcr1/bcr1). Both 3153A and DAY815 formed biofilms on the vaginal mucosa in vivo and ex vivo as indicated by high fungal burden and microscopic analysis demonstrating typical biofilm architecture and presence of extracellular matrix (ECM) co-localized with the presence of fungi. In contrast, efg1/efg1 and bcr1/bcr1 mutant strains exhibited weak or no biofilm formation/ECM production in both models compared to wild-type strains and complemented mutants despite comparable colonization levels. These data show for the first time that C. albicans forms biofilms in vivo on vaginal epithelium, and that in vivo biotic biofilm formation requires regulators of biofilm formation (BCR1) and morphogenesis (EFG1).
doi:10.1099/mic.0.039354-0
PMCID: PMC3068702  PMID: 20705667
3.  Oral and vaginal epithelial cell anti-Candida activity is acid labile and does not require live epithelial cells 
Oral microbiology and immunology  2005;20(4):199-205.
Background: Candida albicans is the causative agent of oral and vaginal candidiasis. Innate host defenses against C. albicans are important against each infection. Among these are oral and vaginal epithelial cells that have anti-Candida activity. The mechanism of action includes a requirement for cell contact with no role for soluble factors, and a putative role for carbohydrates based on the sensitivity of the activity to periodic acid.
Methods: Periodic acid treatment of epithelial cells as well as the property of partial resistance of antifungal activity to fixation was used to further dissect the mechanism of action.
Results: The results herein effectively now challenge a role for carbohydrates alone. Firstly, the putative carbohydrate(s) released into supernatants of periodic acid-treated epithelial cells could not compete with fresh epithelial cells for activity, and equivalent abrogation of activity was observed by periodic acid-treated cells irrespective of the amount of carbohydrate released. Instead, the similar abrogation of activity following treatment with other acids or when cocultured under acidic conditions suggests that the activity is acid-labile. Finally, while activity requires intact epithelial cells, it does not require live cells; activity was minimally affected by fixing epithelial cells prior to coculture where the majority of cells remained impermeable to Trypan blue but were defined as non–viable by positive nuclear staining with propidium iodide.
Conclusion: These results suggest that antifungal activity is dependent on contact by intact, but not necessarily live, epithelial cells through an acid-labile mechanism.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-302X.2005.00212.x
PMCID: PMC1361270  PMID: 15943762
Candida albicans; epithelial cells; innate immunity; oral mucosa; vaginal mucosa

Results 1-3 (3)