Effect of pepstatin A on the virulence factors ofCandida albicansstrains isolated from vaginal environment of patients in three different clinical conditions

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The aspartate proteinase inhibitor pepstatin A was used to study a possible correlation among proteinase activity and other virulence factors of Candida albicans strains isolated from the vaginal environment of patients in three different clinical conditions: asympthomatic, vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). The addition of 1.0 μM pepstatin A did not have any significant effect on hyphae formation, biofilm production and in the cell surface hydrofobicity of isolates in the three different clinical conditions. However, pepstatin A reduced the adherence of C. albicans to vaginal mucosa epithelial cells (53.1, 48.7 and 59.9%, respectively to isolates from asymptomatic, VVC and RVVC patients). This result suggests that the secreted aspartate proteinases (Saps) of this fungal pathogen may have auxiliary roles in cellular adhesion.

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