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Candida albicans biofilms are generally devoid of persister cells

Abstract : Candida albicans is known for its ability to form biofilms - communities of microorganisms embedded in an extracellular matrix developing on different surfaces. Biofilms are highly tolerant to antifungal therapy. This phenomenon has been partially explained by the appearance of so-called persister cells, phenotypic variants of wild-type cells, capable of surviving very high concentrations of antimicrobial agents. Persister cells in C. albicans were found exceptionally in biofilms while none were detected in planktonic cultures of this fungus. Yet, this topic remains controversial as others could not observe persister cells in biofilms formed by the C. albicans SC5314 laboratory strain. Due to ambiguous data in the literature, this work aimed to re-evaluate the presence of persister cells in C. albicans biofilms. We demonstrated that isolation of C. albicans "persister cells" as described previously was likely to be the result of survival of biofilm cells that were not reached by the antifungal. We tested biofilms of SC5314 and its derivatives, as well as 95 clinical isolates, using an improved protocol, demonstrating that persister cells are not a characteristic trait of C. albicans biofilms. Although some clinical isolates are able to yield survivors upon the antifungal treatment of biofilms, this phenomenon is rather stochastic and inconsistent.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 1, 2019 - 11:50:32 AM
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Iryna Denega, Christophe d'Enfert, Sophie Bachellier-Bassi. Candida albicans biofilms are generally devoid of persister cells. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, American Society for Microbiology, 2019, 63 (5), pp.1-9. ⟨10.1128/AAC.01979-18⟩. ⟨pasteur-02086290⟩



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