Research article

In vitro antifungal activity of pelgipeptins against human pathogenic fungi and Candida albicans biofilms

  • Received: 10 September 2020 Accepted: 11 January 2021 Published: 19 January 2021
  • Systemic mycoses have become a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among immunocompromised hosts and long-term hospitalized patients. Conventional antifungal agents are limited because of not only their costs and toxicity but also the rise of resistant strains. Lipopeptides from Paenibacillus species exhibit antimicrobial activity against a wide range of human and plant bacterial pathogens. However, the antifungal potential of these compounds against important human pathogens has not yet been fully evaluated, except for Candida albicans. Paenibacillus elgii produces a family of lipopeptides named pelgipeptins, which are synthesized by a non-ribosomal pathway, such as polymyxin. The present study aimed to evaluate the activity of pelgipeptins produced by P. elgii AC13 against Cryptococcus neoformans, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, and Candida spp. Pelgipeptins were purified from P. elgii AC13 cultures and characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). The in vitro antifugal activity of pelgipeptins was evaluated against C. neoformans H99, P. brasiliensis PB18, C. albicans SC 5314, Candida glabrata ATCC 90030, and C. albicans biofilms. Furthermore, the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined according to the CLSI microdilution method. Fluconazole and amphotericin B were also used as a positive control. Pelgipeptins A to D inhibited the formation and development of C. albicans biofilms and presented activity against all tested microorganisms. The minimum inhibitory concentration values ranged from 4 to 64 µg/mL, which are in the same range as fluconazole MICs. These results highlight the potential of pelgipeptins not only as antimicrobials against pathogenic fungi that cause systemic mycoses but also as coating agents to prevent biofilm formation on medical devices.

    Citation: Débora Luíza Albano Fulgêncio, Rosiane Andrade da Costa, Fernanda Guilhelmelli, Calliandra Maria de Souza Silva, Daniel Barros Ortega, Thiago Fellipe de Araujo, Philippe Spezia Silva, Ildinete Silva-Pereira, Patrícia Albuquerque, Cristine Chaves Barreto. In vitro antifungal activity of pelgipeptins against human pathogenic fungi and Candida albicans biofilms[J]. AIMS Microbiology, 2021, 7(1): 28-39. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2021003

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  • Systemic mycoses have become a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among immunocompromised hosts and long-term hospitalized patients. Conventional antifungal agents are limited because of not only their costs and toxicity but also the rise of resistant strains. Lipopeptides from Paenibacillus species exhibit antimicrobial activity against a wide range of human and plant bacterial pathogens. However, the antifungal potential of these compounds against important human pathogens has not yet been fully evaluated, except for Candida albicans. Paenibacillus elgii produces a family of lipopeptides named pelgipeptins, which are synthesized by a non-ribosomal pathway, such as polymyxin. The present study aimed to evaluate the activity of pelgipeptins produced by P. elgii AC13 against Cryptococcus neoformans, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, and Candida spp. Pelgipeptins were purified from P. elgii AC13 cultures and characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). The in vitro antifugal activity of pelgipeptins was evaluated against C. neoformans H99, P. brasiliensis PB18, C. albicans SC 5314, Candida glabrata ATCC 90030, and C. albicans biofilms. Furthermore, the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined according to the CLSI microdilution method. Fluconazole and amphotericin B were also used as a positive control. Pelgipeptins A to D inhibited the formation and development of C. albicans biofilms and presented activity against all tested microorganisms. The minimum inhibitory concentration values ranged from 4 to 64 µg/mL, which are in the same range as fluconazole MICs. These results highlight the potential of pelgipeptins not only as antimicrobials against pathogenic fungi that cause systemic mycoses but also as coating agents to prevent biofilm formation on medical devices.



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    Acknowledgments



    This study was financed in part by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development/Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) Grant: 560915/2010-1. Daniel B. Ortega was supported by a Doctoral scholarship from CAPES (#88882.182971/2018-01 and #88887.363116/2019-00).

    Conflict of interest



    The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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