Davy Vandenbosch

Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent, Gand, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (9)36.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Infections related to fungal biofilms are difficult to treat due to the reduced susceptibility of sessile cells to most antifungal agents. Previous research has shown that 1% - 10% of sessile Candida cells survive treatment with high doses of miconazole (a fungicidal imidazole). The aim of this study was to identify genes involved in fungal biofilm formation and to unravel the mechanisms of resistance of these biofilms to miconazole. To this end, a screening of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion mutant bank was carried out. Our results revealed that genes involved in peroxisomal transport and the biogenesis of the respiratory chain complex IV play an essential role in biofilm formation. On the other hand, genes involved in transcription and peroxisomal and mitochondrial organization seem to highly influence the susceptibility to miconazole of yeast biofilms. Additionally, our data confirm previous findings on genes involved in biofilm formation and in general stress responses. Our data suggest the involvement of peroxisomes in biofilm formation and miconazole resistance in fungal biofilms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEMS Yeast Research 09/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the molecular basis of the tolerance of Candida albicans biofilms to antifungals using the miconazole as a model compound, and translated the resulting data to other antifungals. Sessile cells of C. albicans Δefg1, lacking the transcription factor Efg1, showed increased susceptibility to miconazole, amphotericin B and caspofungin, whereas these sessile cells were equally resistant to fluconazole. The increased sensitivity to miconazole was, at least, partly due to an increased accumulation of miconazole in the cells as compared to wild-type or reintegrant Δefg1(EFG1) sessile cells. By using a rat biofilm model, we further confirmed the role of Efg1 in the tolerance of C. albicans biofilms to miconazole when grown in vivo.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 03/2012; 61(Pt 6):813-9. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antifungal plant defensin RsAFP2 isolated from radish interacts with fungal glucosylceramides and induces apoptosis in Candida albicans. To further unravel the mechanism of RsAFP2 antifungal action and tolerance mechanisms, we screened a library of 2868 heterozygous C. albicans deletion mutants and identified 30 RsAFP2-hypersensitive mutants. The most prominent group of RsAFP2 tolerance genes was involved in cell wall integrity and hyphal growth/septin ring formation. Consistent with these genetic data, we demonstrated that RsAFP2 interacts with the cell wall of C. albicans, which also contains glucosylceramides, and activates the cell wall integrity pathway. Moreover, we found that RsAFP2 induces mislocalization of septins and blocks the yeast-to-hypha transition in C. albicans. Increased ceramide levels have previously been shown to result in apoptosis and septin mislocalization. Therefore, ceramide levels in C. albicans membranes were analysed following RsAFP2 treatment and, as expected, increased accumulation of phytoC24-ceramides in membranes of RsAFP2-treated C. albicans cells was detected. This is the first report on the interaction of a plant defensin with glucosylceramides in the fungal cell wall, causing cell wall stress, and on the effects of a defensin on septin localization and ceramide accumulation.
    Molecular Microbiology 03/2012; 84(1):166-80. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that 1% to 10% of sessile Candida albicans cells survive treatment with high doses of miconazole (a fungicidal imidazole). In the present study, we investigated the involvement of sphingolipid biosynthetic intermediates in this survival. We observed that the LCB4 gene, coding for the enzyme that catalyzes the phosphorylation of dihydrosphingosine and phytosphingosine, is important in governing the miconazole resistance of sessile Saccharomyces cerevisiae and C. albicans cells. The addition of 10 nM phytosphingosine-1-phosphate (PHS-1-P) drastically reduced the intracellular miconazole concentration and significantly increased the miconazole resistance of a hypersusceptible C. albicans heterozygous LCB4/lcb4 mutant, indicating a protective effect of PHS-1-P against miconazole-induced cell death in sessile cells. At this concentration of PHS-1-P, we did not observe any effect on the fluidity of the cytoplasmic membrane. The protective effect of PHS-1-P was not observed when the efflux pumps were inhibited or when tested in a mutant without functional efflux systems. Also, the addition of PHS-1-P during miconazole treatment increased the expression levels of genes coding for efflux pumps, leading to the hypothesis that PHS-1-P acts as a signaling molecule and enhances the efflux of miconazole in sessile C. albicans cells.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 02/2012; 56(5):2290-4. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the cellular mechanisms responsible for the occurrence of miconazole-tolerant persisters in Candida albicans biofilms. Miconazole induced about 30% killing of sessile C. albicans cells at 75 μM. The fraction of miconazole-tolerant persisters, i.e., cells that can survive high doses of miconazole (0.6 to 2.4 mM), in these biofilms was 1 to 2%. Since miconazole induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) in sessile C. albicans cells, we focused on a role for superoxide dismutases (Sods) in persistence and found the expression of Sod-encoding genes in sessile C. albicans cells induced by miconazole compared to the expression levels in untreated sessile C. albicans cells. Moreover, addition of the superoxide dismutase inhibitor N,N'-diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) to C. albicans biofilms resulted in an 18-fold reduction of the miconazole-tolerant persister fraction and in increased endogenous ROS levels in these cells. Treatment of biofilms of C. albicans clinical isolates with DDC resulted in an 18-fold to more than 200-fold reduction of their miconazole-tolerant persister fraction. To further confirm the important role for Sods in C. albicans biofilm persistence, we used a Δsod4 Δsod5 mutant lacking Sods 4 and 5. Biofilms of the Δsod4 Δsod5 mutant contained at least 3-fold less of the miconazole-tolerant persisters and had increased ROS levels compared to biofilms of the isogenic wild type (WT). In conclusion, the occurrence of miconazole-tolerant persisters in C. albicans biofilms is linked to the ROS-detoxifying activity of Sods. Moreover, Sod inhibitors can be used to potentiate the activity of miconazole against C. albicans biofilms.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 09/2011; 55(9):4033-7. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although azole antifungals are considered to be fungistatic, miconazole has fungicidal activity against planktonic Candida albicans cells, presumably associated with the induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Only few data are available concerning the effect of miconazole against sessile C. albicans cells. In the present study, the fungicidal activity of miconazole against in vitro-grown mature Candida biofilms, and its relationship with the induction of ROS and ROS-dependent apoptosis were examined. The effect of miconazole on mature biofilms formed by 10 C. albicans strains and 5 strains from other Candida species was evaluated by plate counting and measuring the level of ROS induction. MIC tests were performed in the absence and presence of ascorbic acid, a quencher of ROS. The apoptotic population in C. albicans cells was determined using annexin-Cy3. Miconazole showed a significant fungicidal effect against all mature Candida biofilms tested and caused elevated ROS levels, both in planktonic and sessile cells. Addition of ascorbic acid drastically reduced these levels. While ROS quenching decreased the susceptibility to miconazole of planktonic cells of most Candida strains, no reduced fungicidal activity of miconazole against biofilms was observed. Miconazole did not cause a significant increase in apoptosis. ROS levels increased in all Candida biofilms upon addition of miconazole. However, ROS induction was not the only factor that underlies its fungicidal activity, as quenching of ROS did not lead to an enhanced survival of biofilm cells. ROS-induced apoptosis was not observed in C. albicans cells after miconazole treatment.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 04/2010; 65(4):694-700. · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biofilm formation is often associated with persistent Candida albicans infections. Treatment of these infections is difficult, since sessile C. albicans cells show increased resistance towards antifungal agents. The molecular mechanisms behind biofilm resistance in C. albicans are not yet understood. In the present study, we investigated the transcriptional response in young and mature in vitro-grown biofilms after a short and longer exposure time to high doses of fluconazole or amphotericin B. Treatment of biofilms with high doses of antifungal agents resulted in a drug-specific transcriptional response. Exposure of biofilms to fluconazole induced upregulation of genes encoding enzymes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis (ERG1, ERG3, ERG11 and ERG25). Treatment of biofilms with amphotericin B resulted in an overexpression of KRE1 and SKN1, two genes encoding proteins involved in beta-1,6-glucan biosynthesis. Our data indicate that sessile C. albicans cells show controlled regulation of gene expression, as they quickly mount a drug-specific transcriptional response in the presence of high doses of antifungal agents. These transcriptional changes suggest upregulation of ergosterol biosynthesis (fluconazole) and upregulation of beta-1,6-glucan biosynthesis (amphotericin B) in sessile C. albicans cells that might contribute to a resistant biofilm phenotype.
    Research in Microbiology 02/2010; 161(4):284-92. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Azoles inhibit ergosterol biosynthesis, resulting in ergosterol depletion and accumulation of toxic 14alpha-methylated sterols in membranes of susceptible yeast. We demonstrated previously that miconazole induces actin cytoskeleton stabilization in Saccharomyces cerevisiae prior to induction of reactive oxygen species, pointing to an ancillary mode of action. Using a genome-wide agar-based screening, we demonstrate in this study that S. cerevisiae mutants affected in sphingolipid and ergosterol biosynthesis, namely ipt1, sur1, skn1, and erg3 deletion mutants, are miconazole-resistant, suggesting an involvement of membrane rafts in its mode of action. This is supported by the antagonizing effect of membrane raft-disturbing compounds on miconazole antifungal activity as well as on miconazole-induced actin cytoskeleton stabilization and reactive oxygen species accumulation. These antagonizing effects point to a primary role for membrane rafts in miconazole antifungal activity. We further show that this primary role of membrane rafts in miconazole action consists of mediating intracellular accumulation of miconazole in yeast cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2009; 284(47):32680-5. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • T Coenye, M De Vos, D Vandenbosch, H Nelis
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    ABSTRACT: The trailing endpoint phenotype observed during testing of Candida albicans susceptibility to azoles according to the CLSI procedure is defined as a difference in MIC depending on whether the result is obtained after 24 or 48 h. This study investigated whether intrinsic differences between the EUCAST and CLSI methods could explain trailing growth. The glucose concentration in the medium and the shape of the microtitre plate wells were both found to be involved. In order to reduce the incidence of trailing growth according to the CLSI procedure, the use of higher glucose concentrations and flat-bottomed microtitre plates could be valuable improvements.
    Clinical Microbiology and Infection 06/2008; 14(5):495-7. · 4.58 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

86 Citations
36.31 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2010–2013
    • Ghent University
      • Laboratory of Microbiology
      Gent, VLG, Belgium
  • 2009–2012
    • KU Leuven
      • Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics (CMPG)
      Leuven, VLG, Belgium