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Antimicrobial effects of liquid anesthetic isoflurane on Candida albicans

Journal of Translational Medicine
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-4-46
  • Research
  • Medicine


Candida albicans is a dimorphic fungus that can grow in yeast morphology or hyphal form depending on the surrounding environment. This ubiquitous fungus is present in skin and mucus membranes as a potential pathogen that under opportunistic conditions causes a series of systemic and superficial infections known as candidiasis, moniliasis or simply candidiasis. There has been a steady increase in the prevalence of candidiasis that is expressed in more virulent forms of infection. Although candidiasis is commonly manifested as mucocutaneous disease, life-threatening systemic invasion by this fungus can occur in every part of the body. The severity of candidal infections is associated with its morphological shift such that the hyphal morphology of the fungus is most invasive. Of importance, aberrant multiplication of Candida yeast is also associated with the pathogenesis of certain mucosal diseases. In this study, we assessed the anti-candidal activity of the volatile anesthetic isoflurane in liquid form in comparison with the anti-fungal agent amphotericin B in an in vitro culture system. Exposure of C. albicans to isoflurane (0.3% volume/volume and above) inhibited multiplication of yeast as well as formation of hyphae. These data suggest development of potential topical application of isoflurane for controlling a series of cutaneous and genital infections associated with this fungus. Elucidiation of the mechanism by which isoflurane effects fungal growth could offer therapeutic potential for certain systemic fungal infections.

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