[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The production of virulence attributes in three reference strains and 11 clinical isolates primarily identified as Candida parapsilosis was evaluated. Morphologic and phenotypic tests were not able to discriminate among the three species of the C. parapsilosis complex; consequently, molecular methods were applied to solve this task. After employing polymerase chain reaction-based methods, nine clinical strains were identified as C. parapsilosis sensu stricto and two as C. orthopsilosis. Protease, catalase and hemolysin were produced by all 14 strains, while 92.9% and 78.6% of strains secreted, respectively, esterase and phytase. No phospholipase-producers were detected. Mannose/glucose, N-acetylglucosamine and sialic acid residues were detected at the surface of all strains, respectively, in high, medium and low levels. All strains presented elevated surface hydrophobicity and similar ability to form biofilm. However, the adhesion to inert substrates and mammalian cells was extremely diverse, showing typical intra-strain variations. Overall, the strains showed (i) predilection to adhere to plastic over glass and the number of pseudohyphae was more prominent than yeasts and (ii) the interaction process was slightly enhanced in macrophages than fibroblasts, with the majority of fungal cells detected inside them. Positive/negative correlations were demonstrated among the production of these virulence traits in C. parapsilosis complex. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infections caused by resistant microorganisms often fail to respond to conventional therapy, resulting in prolonged illness, increased treatment costs and greater risk of death. Consequently, the development of novel antimicrobial drugs is becoming more demanding every day since the existing drugs either have too many side-effects or they tend to lose effectiveness due to the selection of resistant strains. In view of these facts, a number of new strategies to obstruct vital biological processes of a microbial cell have emerged; one of these is focused on the use of metal-chelating agents, which are able to selectively disturb the essential metal metabolism of the microorganism by interfering with metal acquisition and bioavailability for crucial reactions. The chelation activity is able to inhibit the biological role of metal-dependent proteins (e.g., metalloproteases and transcription factors), disturbing the microbial cell homeostasis and culminating in the blockage of microbial nutrition, growth and development, cellular differentiation, adhesion to biotic (e.g., extracellular matrix components, cell and/or tissue) and abiotic (e.g., plastic, silicone and acrylic) structures as well as controlling the in vivo infection progression. Interestingly, chelating agents also potentiate the activity of classical antimicrobial compounds. The differences between the microorganism and host in terms of the behavior displayed in the presence of chelating agents could provide exploitable targets for the development of an effective chemotherapy for these diseases. Consequently, metal chelators represent a novel group of antimicrobial agents with potential therapeutic applications. This review will focus on the anti-fungal and anti-protozoan action of the most common chelating agents, deciphering and discussing their mode of action.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 03/2012; 19(17):2715-37. · 3.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rhinocladiella aquaspersa is an etiologic agent of chromoblastomycosis, a subcutaneous chronic infectious disease. In the present work, we found that the three morphological forms of this fungus (conidia, mycelia and sclerotic bodies) expressed different levels of ecto-phosphatase activity. Our results demonstrated that surface conidial enzyme is an acid phosphatase, inhibited by sodium salts of molybdate, orthovanadate and fluoride and that the inhibition caused by orthovanadate and molybdate was irreversible. The conidial ecto-phosphatase efficiently released phosphate groups from different phosphorylated substrates, causing a higher rate of phosphate removal when p-nitrophenylphosphate was used as substrate. This ecto-enzyme of R. aquaspersa is modulated by Co(2 +) ions and inorganic phosphate (Pi). Accordingly, removal of Pi from the culture medium resulted in a marked (121-fold) increase of ecto-phosphatase activity. Surface phosphatase activity is apparently involved in fungal adhesive properties, since the attachment of R. aquaspersa to epithelial cells was reversed by the pre-treatment of the conidia with orthovanadate, molybdate and anti-phosphatase antibody. Corroborating this finding, conidia with greater ecto-phosphatase activity (grown in Pi-depleted medium) showed higher adherence to epithelial cells than fungi cultivated in the presence of Pi.
Medical mycology: official publication of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology 02/2012; 50(6):570-8. · 2.13 Impact Factor