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1.  Tetracycline Effects on Candida Albicans Virulence Factors 
Object. To determine if tetracycline, previously reported to increase the probability of developing symptomatic vaginal yeast infections, has a direct effect on Candida albicans growth or induction of virulent phenotypes. Method. In vitro, clinical isolates of yeast were cultivated with sublethal concentrations of tetracycline and yeast cell counts, hyphal formation, drug efflux pump activity, biofilm production, and hemolysin production were determined by previously reported methods. Results. Tetracycline concentrations above 150 μg/mL inhibited Candida albicans, but at submicrogram/mL, a modest growth increase during the early hours of the growth curve was observed. Tetracycline did not inhibit hyphal formation at sublethal concentrations. Hypha formation appeared augmented by exposure to tetracycline in the presence of chemically defined medium and especially in the presence of human serum. Efflux pump CDR1 was upregulated and a nonsignificant trend toward increased biofilm formation was noted. Conclusion. Tetracycline appears to have a small growth enhancing effect and may influence virulence through augmentation of hypha formation, and a modest effect on drug efflux and biofilm formation, although tetracycline did not affect hemolysin. It is not clear if the magnitude of the effect is sufficient to attribute vaginitis following tetracycline treatment to direct action of tetracycline on yeast.
PMCID: PMC2408679  PMID: 18528520
2.  Adherence and Blocking of Candida Albicans to Cultured Vaginal Epithelial Cells: Treatments to Decrease Adherence 
Background. Pathogenesis of mucosal microorganisms depends on adherence to the tissues they colonize and infect. For Candida albicans, cell surface hydrophobicity may play a significant role in tissue binding ability. Methods. A continuous cell line of vaginal epithelial cells (VEC) was grown in keratinocyte serum-free medium (KSFM) with supplements and harvested by trypsinization. VEC were combined with yeast cells to evaluate adherence and inhibition of adherence. In this experimental setup, yeast stained with fluorescein isothiocyanate were allowed to attach to VEC and the resulting fluorescent VEC were detected by flow cytometry. Results. VEC were cultured and examined daily after plating and showed morphology similar to basal epithelial cells. Culture media supplemented with estradiol showed increased VEC proliferation initially (first 24 h) but cell morphology was not altered. Fluorescinated Candida cells bound effectively to the cultured VEC. Using fresh cells exposed to various preparations of K-Y, we showed that all formulations of the product reduced Candida binding to VEC by 25% to 50%. While VEC were generally harvested for use in experiments when they were near confluent growth, we allowed some cultures to grow beyond that point and discovered that cells allowed to become overgrown or stressed appeared to bind yeast cells more effectively. Conclusion. Flow cytometry is a useful method for evaluating binding of stained yeast cells to cultured VEC and has demonstrated that commercially available products have the ability to interfere with the process of yeast adherence to epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC1581476  PMID: 17485817
3.  Surface modifying substances that reduce apparent yeast cell hydrophobicity. 
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether several topical compounds and other chemical entities are able to diminish the surface hydrophobicity of yeast cells. METHOD: Hydrophobicity of yeast cells was determined by binding styrene microspheres to the surface of untreated yeast or yeast pre-incubated with various substances with potential for cell surface modification. The degree of microsphere adherence to yeast cells was measured by flow cytometry. RESULTS: A significant reduction in cell surface hydrophobicity was observed when yeast was incubated in protein-containing media. Other compounds that effectively reduced microsphere binding were various formulations of K-Y and heparin. Divalent cations (Ca+ + , Mg+ + , Zn+ + , Cu + + ) were also potent inhibitors of microsphere adherence. It was possible to remove substances contributing to microsphere binding by chemical extraction of the yeast. Yeast having reduced microsphere binding activity also showed diminished binding of concanavalin A. CONCLUSIONS: Several commercially available compounds were able to block binding of styrene microspheres to yeast. Some of the binding activity appeared to be attributable to mannose-containing surface components. These findings have implications for formulating therapeutic products that might block yeast binding to tissues.
PMCID: PMC1784570  PMID: 16126503
4.  Evaluation of relative yeast cell surface hydrophobicity measured by flow cytometry. 
OBJECTIVE: To develop an efficient method for evaluating cell surface hydrophobicity and to apply the method to demonstrate the effects of fungal growth conditions on cell surface properties. METHODS: Yeast isolates were suspended in phosphate-buffered saline and mixed with deep blue-dyed polystyrene microspheres. Flow cytometry was used to detect the degree of microsphere binding to yeast cells. Different strains of yeast were compared for intrinsic microsphere binding activity and changes in growth conditions were invoked to modify the relative surface hydrophobicity. RESULTS: Commercially available blue-dyed polystyrene microspheres showed strong fluorescence in the FL3 channel, whereas yeast cells did not show appreciable FL3 fluorescence. Microspheres and yeast were generally distinguishable on the basis of size revealed by forward light scatter. This method showed a wide variation in intrinsic cell surface hydrophobicity among Candida albicans strains. Likewise, variation in hydrophobicity of non-albicans yeast species was observed. Growth on solid media, incubation at 25 degrees C, or 250 mg/dl glucose concentration increased hydrophobicity compared with growth in liquid media, incubation at 37 degrees C, or 50 mg/dl glucose, respectively. Growth in 1 x 10(-9) M estradiol had no appreciable effect on hydrophobicity. CONCLUSIONS: Stained latex microspheres fluoresced in the FL3 channel of the flow cytometer and bound to yeast cells to an extent related to the surface hydrophobicity of the yeast. Binding detected by flow cytometry showed that clinical yeast isolates varied in intrinsic binding capacity and this binding ability was altered by different growth conditions. The implications for virulence regulation among yeast isolates are discussed.
PMCID: PMC1784552  PMID: 16040327
5.  Candidiasis During Pregnancy May Result From Isogenic Commensal Strains 
Objective: Our laboratory previously demonstrated that asymptomatic vaginal colonization during pregnancy is a factor predisposing patients to subsequent symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis. It is unknown whether symptoms result from strain replacement or a change in host relationship to the original colonizing strain. This study was undertaken to determine whether Candida albicans isolates from asymptomatic women could be responsible for subsequent symptomatic vaginitis.
Methods: We retained isolates of C. albicans from women followed longitudinally through pregnancy, and identified six pairs of cultures from women who were colonized without symptoms and who later became symptomatic (average time 14 weeks). We used a random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis to determine whether isolates from our study patients were genetically similar or dissimilar.
Results: Analysis of these pairs of yeast strains by RAPD revealed that five of the six women had symptoms apparently due to the same yeast strain that was found initially as a commensal strain. To increase the power of these observations, we also performed RAPD analysis on six randomly selected yeast strains from other women in this study who had not become symptomatic to determine whether any of these unrelated strains matched strains from those women who became symptomatic.
Conclusion: Symptomatic yeast vaginitis is usually due to strains of C. albicans already carried in the lower genital tract, underscoring the need to understand regulation of growth and virulence of the organism in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1784641  PMID: 11495556

Results 1-5 (5)