Journal : PLOS ONE , vol. 14 , p. 14 , Tuesday 8. January 2019
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1932-6203
Electronic : 1932-6203
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 1
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Due to their antifungal activity, chitosan and its derivatives have potential to be used for treating yeast infections in humans. However, to be considered for use in human medicine, it is necessary to control and know the chemical composition of the compound, which is not always the case for polymeric chitosans. Here, we analyze the antifungal activity of a soluble and well-defined chito-oligosaccharide (CHOS) with an average polymerization degree (DPn) of 32 and fraction of acetylation (FA) of 0.15 (C32) on 52 medically relevant yeast strains. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) varied widely among yeast species, strains and isolates (from > 5000 to < 9.77 μg mL-1) and inhibition patterns showed a time- and dose-dependencies. The antifungal activity was predominantly fungicidal and was inversely proportional to the pH, being maximal at pH 4.5, the lowest tested pH. Furthermore, antifungal effects of CHOS fractions with varying average molecular weight indicated that those fractions with an intermediate degree of polymerization, i.e. DP 31 and 54, had the strongest inhibitory effects. Confocal imaging showed that C32 adsorbs to the cell surface, with subsequent cell disruption and accumulation of C32 in the cytoplasm. Thus, C32 has potential to be used as a therapy for fungal infections.