The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy vol:69 issue:4 pages:1035-1044
Objectives Biofilms of Candida species, often formed on medical devices, are generally resistant to currently available antifungal drugs. The aim of this study was to identify compounds that increase the activity of amphotericin B and caspofungin, commonly used antifungal agents, against Candida biofilms.
Methods A library containing off-patent drugs was screened for compounds, termed enhancers, that increase the in vitro activity of amphotericin B against Candida albicans biofilms. Biofilms were grown in 96-well plates and growth was determined by the cell titre blue assay. Synergy between identified enhancers and antifungal agents was further characterized in vitro using fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) values and in vivo using a worm biofilm infection model. In light of the application of these enhancers onto implants, their possible effect on the growth potential of MG63 osteoblast-like cells was assessed.
Results Pre-incubation of C. albicans biofilms with subinhibitory concentrations of the enhancers drospirenone, perhexiline maleate or toremifene citrate significantly increased the activity of amphotericin B or caspofungin (FICI < 0.5) against C. albicans and Candida glabrata biofilms. Moreover, these enhancers did not affect the growth potential of osteoblasts. Interestingly, toremifene citrate also enhanced the in vitro activity of caspofungin in a mixed biofilm consisting of C. albicans and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Furthermore, we demonstrate synergy between toremifene citrate and caspofungin in an in vivo worm C. albicans biofilm infection model.
Conclusions Our data demonstrate an in vitro and in vivo enhancement of the antibiofilm activity of caspofungin by toremifene citrate. Furthermore, our results pave the way for implant-related applications of the identified enhancers.