Royal Hospital for Sick Children Yorkhill Division

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Royal Hospital for Sick Children Yorkhill Division

Glasgow, United Kingdom
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Sherry L.,University of Glasgow | Jose A.,University of Glasgow | Murray C.,University of Glasgow | Williams C.,Royal Hospital for Sick Children Yorkhill Division | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2012

Carbohydrate derived fulvic acid (CHD-FA) is a heat stable low molecular weight, water soluble, cationic, colloidal material with proposed therapeutic properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifungal activity of CHD-FA against Candida albicans, and to characterize its mode of action. A panel of C. albicans isolates (n = 50) derived from a range of clinical specimens were grown planktonically and as biofilms, and the minimum inhibitory concentrations determined. Scanning electron microscopy was performed to examine ultrastructural changes and different cell membrane assays were used to determine its mode of action. In addition, the role of C. albicans biofilm resistance mechanisms were investigated to determine their effects on CHD-FA activity. CHD-FA was active against planktonic and sessile C. albicans at concentrations 0.125 and 0.25% respectively, and was shown to be fungicidal, acting through disruption of the cell membrane activity. Resistance mechanisms, including matrix, efflux, and stress, had a limited role upon CHD-FA activity. Overall, based on the promising in vitro spectrum of activity and minimal biofilm resistance of the natural and cheap antiseptic CHD-FA, further studies are required to determine its applicability for clinical use. © 2012 Sherry, Jose, Murray, Williams, Jones, Millington, Bagg and Ramage.


Rajendran R.,University of Glasgow | Mowat E.,University of Glasgow | McCulloch E.,Royal Hospital for Sick Children Yorkhill Division | Lappin D.F.,University of Glasgow | And 6 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2011

This study investigated the phase-dependent expression and activity of efflux pumps in Aspergillus fumigatus treated with voriconazole. Fourteen strains were shown to become increasingly resistant in the 12-h (16- to 128-fold) and 24-h (>512-fold) phases compared to 8-h germlings. An Ala-Nap uptake assay demonstrated a significant increase in efflux pump activity in the 12-h and 24-h phases (P < 0.0001). The efflux pump activity of the 8-h germling cells was also significantly induced by voriconazole (P < 0.001) after 24 h of treatment. Inhibition of efflux pump activity with the competitive substrate MC-207,110 reduced the voriconazole MIC values for the A. fumigatus germling cells by 2- to 8-fold. Quantitative expression analysis of AfuMDR4 mRNA transcripts showed a phase-dependent increase as the mycelial complexity increased, which was coincidental with a strain-dependent increase in azole resistance. Voriconazole also significantly induced this in a time-dependent manner (P< 0.001). Finally, an in vivo mouse biofilm model was used to evaluate efflux pump expression, and it was shown that AfuMDR4 was constitutively expressed and significantly induced by treatment with voriconazole after 24 h (P < 0.01). Our results demonstrate that efflux pumps are expressed in complex A. fumigatus biofilm populations and that this contributes to azole resistance. Moreover, voriconazole treatment induces efflux pump expression. Collectively, these data may provide evidence for azole treatment failures in clinical cases of aspergillosis. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Rajendran R.,University of Glasgow | Williams C.,Royal Hospital for Sick Children Yorkhill Division | Lappin D.F.,University of Glasgow | Millington O.,University of Strathclyde | And 2 more authors.
Eukaryotic Cell | Year: 2013

Aspergillus fumigatus has been shown to form biofilms that are associated with adaptive antifungal resistance mechanisms. These include multidrug efflux pumps, heat shock proteins, and extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is a key structural and protective component of microbial biofilms and in bacteria has been shown to contain extracellular DNA (eDNA). We therefore hypothesized that A. fumigatus biofilms also possess eDNA as part of the ECM, conferring a functional role. Fluorescence microscopy and quantitative PCR analyses demonstrated the presence of eDNA, which was released phase dependently (8<12<24< 48 h). Random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR showed that eDNA was identical to genomic DNA. Biofilm architectural integrity was destabilized by DNase treatment. Biochemical and transcriptional analyses showed that chitinase activity and mRNA levels of chitinase, a marker of autolysis, were significantly upregulated as the biofilm matured and that inhibition of chitinases affected biofilm growth and stability, indicating mechanistically that autolysis was possibly involved. Finally, using checkerboard assays, it was shown that combinational treatment of biofilms with DNase plus amphotericin B and caspofungin significantly improved antifungal susceptibility. Collectively, these data show that eDNA is an important structural component of A. fumigatus ECM that is released through autolysis, which is important for protection from environmental stresses, including antifungal therapy. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.


Ramage G.,University of Glasgow | Rajendran R.,University of Glasgow | Sherry L.,University of Glasgow | Williams C.,Royal Hospital for Sick Children Yorkhill Division
International Journal of Microbiology | Year: 2012

Fungal biofilm infections have become increasingly recognised as a significant clinical problem. One of the major reasons behind this is the impact that these have upon treatment, as antifungal therapy often fails and surgical intervention is required. This places a large financial burden on health care providers. This paper aims to illustrate the importance of fungal biofilms, particularly Candida albicans, and discusses some of the key fungal biofilm resistance mechanisms that include, extracellular matrix (ECM), efflux pump activity, persisters, cell density, overexpression of drug targets, stress responses, and the general physiology of the cell. The paper demonstrates the multifaceted nature of fungal biofilm resistance, which encompasses some of the newest data and ideas in the field. © 2012 Gordon Ramage et al.

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