Real-time assessment of Candida biofilm disruption by Galenia africana
Abrantes, Pedro Miguel dos Santos
Africa, Charlene Wilma Joyce
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Candida species often cause opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients and are able to form highly structured biofilms that protect the yeast cells from the external environment and the action of antimicrobials. The use of fluconazole, a routinely dispensed antifungal in the treatment of localised and systemic Candida infections, often leads to treatment failure due to drug resistance. This increases patient morbidity and mortality and justifies the need for effective and accessible treatment alternatives. Galenia africana is an indigenous South African plant with proven antifungal properties and no toxicity to mammalian cells. In this study the activity of a G. africana aqueous extract against C. albicans and C. glabrata biofilms before and after biofilm formation was tested using the xCELLigence impedance-based real-time biofilm monitoring system. The presence of G. africana resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in biofilm formation in both Candida species and was found to be effective in preventing Candida biofilm formation and disrupting existing Candida biofilms. This is the first reported study to use an impedance-based system to monitor the real-time biofilm formation of Candida species in the presence of a medicinal plant extract.