Dynamics of Mixed–Candida Species Biofilms in Response to Antifungals

G. Vipulanandan, M. Herrera, N. P. Wiederhold, X. Li, J. Mintz, B. L. Wickes, D. Kadosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Oral infections caused by Candida species, the most commonly isolated human fungal pathogen, are frequently associated with biofilms. Although Candida albicans is the predominant organism found in patients with oral thrush, a biofilm infection, there is an increasing incidence of oral colonization and infections caused by non-albicans Candida species, including C. glabrata, C. dubliniensis, and C. tropicalis, which are frequently more resistant to antifungal treatment. While single-species Candida biofilms have been well studied, considerably less is known about the dynamics of mixed–Candida species biofilms and how these dynamics are altered by antifungal treatment. To address these questions, we developed a quantitative polymerase chain reaction–based approach to determine the precise species composition of mixed–Candida species biofilms formed by clinical isolates and laboratory strains in the presence and absence of clinically relevant concentrations of 3 commonly used antifungals: fluconazole, caspofungin, and amphotericin B. In monospecies biofilms, fluconazole exposure favored growth of C. glabrata and C. tropicalis, while caspofungin generally favored significant growth of all species to a varying degree. Fluconazole was not effective against preformed mixed–Candida species biofilms while amphotericin B was potent. As a general trend, in mixed–Candida species biofilms, C. albicans lost dominance in the presence of antifungals. Interestingly, presence in mixed versus monospecies biofilms reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B for C. tropicalis and C. glabrata. Overall, our data suggest that antifungal treatment favors the growth of specific non-albicans Candida species in mixed–Candida species biofilms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • candidiasis
  • cell biology
  • infectious disease medicine
  • microbiology
  • mycology
  • oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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