The ability of farnesol to prevent adhesion and disrupt Fusarium keratoplasticum biofilm

  • Brenda Kischkel
  • Gredson Keiff Souza
  • Lucas Ulisses Rovigatti Chiavelli
  • Armando Mateus Pomini
  • Terezinha Inez Estivalet Svidzinski
  • Melyssa NegriEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


A biofilm is represented by a community of microorganisms capable of adhering to a surface and producing substances that envelop the cells, forming an extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix is responsible for protecting microorganisms against environmental stress, hosts the immune system and confers resistance to antimicrobials. Fusarium keratoplasticum is a common species of FSSC (Fusarium solani species complex) associated with human infections, being the most prevalent species related to biofilm formation in hospital water systems and internal pipelines. With this in mind, this study aimed to characterise the biofilm formed by the fungus F. keratoplasticum and to evaluate the effects of farnesol, a fungal quorum sensing (QS) molecule, on the preformed biofilm and also during its formation at different times (adhesion and 24, 48 and 72 h). F. keratoplasticum is able to adhere to an abiotic surface and form a dense biofilm in 72 h, with increased total biomass and matrix modulation with the presence of extracellular DNA, RNA, polysaccharides and proteins. Farnesol exhibited important anti-biofilm activity, causing the destruction of hyphae and the extracellular matrix in preformed biofilm and preventing the adhesion of conidia, filamentation and the formation of biofilm. Few studies have characterised the formation of biofilm by filamentous fungi. Our findings suggest that farnesol acts efficiently on F. keratoplasticum biofilm since this molecule is capable of breaking the extracellular matrix, thereby disarranging the biofilm.


Biofilm Farnesol Fusarium Extracellular matrix 



We thank the Complex of Research Support Centers (COMCAP), Universidade Estadual de Maringá, for their assistance in image acquisition.

Author contributions

B.K. performed research, analysed data and wrote the paper. G.K.S., L.U.R.C. and A.M.P. analysed data and contributed new methods or models. T.I.E.S. and M.N. conceived or designed the study and wrote the paper.

Funding information

This research was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), no. 421620/2018-8.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Analysis DepartmentState University of MaringáMaringáBrazil
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryState University of MaringáMaringáBrazil

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