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      Effects of Mentha suaveolens Essential Oil Alone or in Combination with Other Drugs in Candida albicans

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          Candidosis is the most important cause of fungal infections in humans. The yeast Candida albicans can form biofilms, and it is known that microbial biofilms play an important role in human diseases and are very difficult to treat. The prolonged treatment with drugs has often resulted in failure and resistance. Due to the emergence of multidrug resistance, alternatives to conventional antimicrobial therapy are needed. This study aims to analyse the effects induced by essential oil of Mentha suaveolens Ehrh (EOMS) on Candida albicans and its potential synergism when used in combination with conventional drugs. Morphological differences between control and EOMS treated yeast cells or biofilms were observed by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM resp.,). In order to reveal the presence of cell cycle alterations, flow cytometry analysis was carried out as well. The synergic action of EOMS was studied with the checkerboard method, and the cellular damage induced by different treatments was analysed by TEM. The results obtained have demonstrated both the effects of EOMS on C. albicans yeast cells and biofilms and the synergism of EOMS when used in combination with conventional antifungal drugs as fluconazole (FLC) and micafungin (MCFG), and therefore we can hypothesize on its potential use in therapy. Further studies are necessary to know its mechanism of action.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Biological effects of essential oils--a review.

          Since the middle ages, essential oils have been widely used for bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, antiparasitical, insecticidal, medicinal and cosmetic applications, especially nowadays in pharmaceutical, sanitary, cosmetic, agricultural and food industries. Because of the mode of extraction, mostly by distillation from aromatic plants, they contain a variety of volatile molecules such as terpenes and terpenoids, phenol-derived aromatic components and aliphatic components. In vitro physicochemical assays characterise most of them as antioxidants. However, recent work shows that in eukaryotic cells, essential oils can act as prooxidants affecting inner cell membranes and organelles such as mitochondria. Depending on type and concentration, they exhibit cytotoxic effects on living cells but are usually non-genotoxic. In some cases, changes in intracellular redox potential and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by essential oils can be associated with their capacity to exert antigenotoxic effects. These findings suggest that, at least in part, the encountered beneficial effects of essential oils are due to prooxidant effects on the cellular level.
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            Biofilm formation by the fungal pathogen Candida albicans: development, architecture, and drug resistance.

            Biofilms are a protected niche for microorganisms, where they are safe from antibiotic treatment and can create a source of persistent infection. Using two clinically relevant Candida albicans biofilm models formed on bioprosthetic materials, we demonstrated that biofilm formation proceeds through three distinct developmental phases. These growth phases transform adherent blastospores to well-defined cellular communities encased in a polysaccharide matrix. Fluorescence and confocal scanning laser microscopy revealed that C. albicans biofilms have a highly heterogeneous architecture composed of cellular and noncellular elements. In both models, antifungal resistance of biofilm-grown cells increased in conjunction with biofilm formation. The expression of agglutinin-like (ALS) genes, which encode a family of proteins implicated in adhesion to host surfaces, was differentially regulated between planktonic and biofilm-grown cells. The ability of C. albicans to form biofilms contrasts sharply with that of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which adhered to bioprosthetic surfaces but failed to form a mature biofilm. The studies described here form the basis for investigations into the molecular mechanisms of Candida biofilm biology and antifungal resistance and provide the means to design novel therapies for biofilm-based infections.
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              Comparison of multiple methods for quantification of microbial biofilms grown in microtiter plates.

              In the present study six assays for the quantification of biofilms formed in 96-well microtiter plates were optimised and evaluated: the crystal violet (CV) assay, the Syto9 assay, the fluorescein diacetate (FDA) assay, the resazurin assay, the XTT assay and the dimethyl methylene blue (DMMB) assay. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cenocepacia, Staphylococcus aureus, Propionibacterium acnes and Candida albicans were used as test organisms. In general, these assays showed a broad applicability and a high repeatability for most isolates. In addition, the estimated numbers of CFUs present in the biofilms show limited variations between the different assays. Nevertheless, our data show that some assays are less suitable for the quantification of biofilms of particular isolates (e.g. the CV assay for P. aeruginosa).

                Author and article information

                1Department of Technology and Health, Italian National Institute of Health, Viale Regina Elena 299, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 00161 Rome, Italy
                2Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 00161 Rome, Italy
                3Department of Drugs Chemistry and Technology, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 00161 Rome, Italy
                4Department of Biochemical Sciences “Rossi Fanelli”, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Italy
                5Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Italian National Institute of Health, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Jairo Kenupp Bastos

                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                27 February 2014
                27 February 2014
                : 2014
                Copyright © 2014 Annarita Stringaro et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Complementary & Alternative medicine


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