Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 413–417 | Cite as

Susceptibility of Candida biofilms to histatin 5 and fluconazole

  • Krystyna KonopkaEmail author
  • Barbara Dorocka-Bobkowska
  • Senait Gebremedhin
  • Nejat Düzgüneş
Short Communication


Candida-associated denture stomatitis has a high rate of recurrence. Candida biofilms formed on denture acrylic are more resistant to antifungals than planktonic yeasts. Histatins, a family of basic peptides secreted by the major salivary glands in humans, especially histatin 5, possess significant antifungal properties. We examined antifungal activities of histatin 5 against planktonic or biofilm Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. Candida biofilms were developed on poly(methyl methacrylate) discs and treated with histatin 5 (0.01–100 μM) or fluconazole (1–200 μM). The metabolic activity of the biofilms was measured by the XTT reduction assay. The fungicidal activity of histatin 5 against planktonic Candida was tested by microdilution plate assay. Biofilm and planktonic C. albicans GDH18, UTR-14 and 6122/06 were highly susceptible to histatin 5, with 50% RMA (concentration of the agent causing 50% reduction in the metabolic activity; biofilm) of 4.6 ± 2.2, 6.9 ± 3.7 and 1.7 ± 1.5 μM, and IC50 (planktonic cells) of 3.0 ± 0.5, 2.6 ± 0.1 and 4.8 ± 0.5, respectively. Biofilms of C. glabrata GDH1407 and 6115/06 were less susceptible to histatin 5, with 50% RMA of 31.2 ± 4.8 and 62.5 ± 0.7 μM, respectively. Planktonic C. glabrata was insensitive to histatin 5 (IC50 > 100 μM). Biofilm-associated Candida was highly resistant to fluconazole in the range 1–200 μM; e.g. at 100 μM only ~20% inhibition was observed for C. albicans, and ~30% inhibition for C. glabrata. These results indicate that histatin 5 exhibits antifungal activity against biofilms of C. albicans and C. glabrata developed on denture acrylic. C. glabrata is significantly less sensitive to histatin 5 than C. albicans.


Biofilms Candida Denture acrylic Fluconazole Histatin 5 



This work was supported in part by Research Pilot Project Award 03-Activity 054 from the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (K. Konopka). We thank M. Yee for technical assistance and Dr. L. Samaranayake for leading us to Hing Lung Engineering Inc. for the manufacture of acrylic discs.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krystyna Konopka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara Dorocka-Bobkowska
    • 2
  • Senait Gebremedhin
    • 1
  • Nejat Düzgüneş
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Arthur A. Dugoni School of DentistryUniversity of the PacificSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of ProsthodonticsUniversity of Medical SciencesPoznanPoland

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