Sorbitol Protection Assay Provides Insight into Antifungal Mechanisms of Boron Compounds against Candida albicans and Candida Glabrata

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Medicine and Health Sciences


In order to determine if loss of cell wall integrity contributes to boric acid toxicity towards wild type and drug resistant Candida organisms, yeast growth in osmoprotective-high-sorbitol medium was compared to growth determined by turbidity (A450) in sorbitol-free medium. Initially it was discovered that hyperosmolarity without added boron (sorbitol medium vs Sabouraud’s dextrose medium) reduced turbidity by an average of 42% for 27 yeast strains. The addition of 0.2% boric acid to this test resulted in sorbitol protection equal to an average 6.5-fold increase in turbidity in the presence of sorbitol. We also determined that organoboron compounds obtained from commercial nutritional supplement products also inhibited growth of Candida. Based on this finding we applied the sorbitol protection assay to 16 selected strains of Candida with the result that sorbitol protection was also seen with boron gluconate.


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