, Volume 183, Issue 3, pp 499–511 | Cite as

Comparative Study of the Effects of Fluconazole and Voriconazole on Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis and Candida rugosa Biofilms

  • Priya MadhavanEmail author
  • Farida Jamal
  • Chong Pei Pei
  • Fauziah Othman
  • Arunkumar Karunanidhi
  • Kee Peng Ng
Original Paper


Infections by non-albicans Candida species are a life-threatening condition, and formation of biofilms can lead to treatment failure in a clinical setting. This study was aimed to demonstrate the in vitro antibiofilm activity of fluconazole (FLU) and voriconazole (VOR) against C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. rugosa with diverse antifungal susceptibilities to FLU and VOR. The antibiofilm activities of FLU and VOR in the form of suspension as well as pre-coatings were assessed by XTT [2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide] reduction assay. Morphological and intracellular changes exerted by the antifungal drugs on Candida cells were examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The results of the antibiofilm activities showed that FLU drug suspension was capable of killing C. parapsilosis and C. rugosa at minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 4× MIC FLU and 256× MIC FLU, respectively. While VOR MICs ranging from 2× to 32× were capable of killing the biofilms of all Candida spp tested. The antibiofilm activities of pre-coated FLU were able to kill the biofilms at ¼× MIC FLU and ½× MIC FLU for C. parapsilosis and C. rugosa strains, respectively. While pre-coated VOR was able to kill the biofilms, all three Candida sp at ½× MIC VOR. SEM and TEM examinations showed that FLU and VOR treatments exerted significant impact on Candida cell with various degrees of morphological changes. In conclusion, a fourfold reduction in MIC50 of FLU and VOR towards ATCC strains of C. glabrata, C. rugosa and C. rugosa clinical strain was observed in this study.


Biofilms Non-albicans Candida Fluconazole Voriconazole XTT assay Electron microscopy 



The authors are grateful to the staff of the Microscopy Unit, Institute of Biosciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for their expert technical assistance. We are also thankful to Glenmark Generics Limited, India, for the kind gift of voriconazole powder used in this study.


This work was supported by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) through the Research University Grant Scheme (RUGS No. 9333100) funded by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priya Madhavan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Farida Jamal
    • 2
  • Chong Pei Pei
    • 3
  • Fauziah Othman
    • 4
  • Arunkumar Karunanidhi
    • 2
    • 5
  • Kee Peng Ng
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesTaylor’s UniversitySubang JayaMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology and Chemistry, Faculty of PharmacyUniversiti Teknologi MARABandar Puncak AlamMalaysia
  6. 6.Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaLembah Pantai, Kuala LumpurMalaysia

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