Candida species have two distinct lifestyles: planktonic, and surface-attached communities called biofilms. Mature C. albicans biofilms show a complex three-dimensional architecture with extensive spatial heterogeneity, and consist of a dense network of yeast, hyphae, and pseudohyphae encased within a matrix of exopolymeric material.
Several key processes are likely to play vital roles at the different stages of biofilm development, such as cell-substrate and cell-cell adherence, hyphal development, and quorum sensing.
Biofilm formation is a survival strategy, since biofilm yeasts are more resistant to antifungals and environmental stress. Antifungal resistance is a multifactorial process that includes multidrug efflux pumps, target proteins of the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway. Most studies agree in presenting azoles as agents with poor activity against Candida spp. biofilms.
However, recent studies have demonstrated that echinocandins and amphotericin B exhibit remarkable activity against C. albicans and Candida non-albicans biofilms. The association of Candida species with biofilm formation increases the therapeutic complexity of foreign body-related yeast infections. The traditional approach to the management of these infections has been to explant the affected device.
There is a strong medical but also economical motivation for the development of novel anti-fungal biofilm strategies due to the constantly increasing resistance of Candida biofilms to conventional antifungals, and the high mortality caused by related infections. A better description of the extent and role of yeast in biofilms may be critical for developing novel therapeutic strategies in the clinical setting.
CITATION Int J Artif Organs. 2012 Nov 6:0. doi: 10.5301/ijao.5000170
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