Effects of repeated low-dose UVB irradiation on the hyphal growth of Candida albicans

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SummaryUltraviolet B light (UVB) can have negative phototropic effects on fungi. Candida albicans is often found on human skin exposed to UVB. Therefore, it is of medical interest to know whether a negative phototropic response to UVB irradiation can support an invasive growth of this potentially dangerous agent. In our study we investigated how repeated irradiation with low doses of UVB can influence the hyphal growth of C. albicans. Six randomly chosen strains of C. albicans were tested. Formation of hyphae was induced and maintained within transparent agar plates. The fungi were exposed to UVB three times daily for 7 days from either the obverse or the reverse side during incubation. The wavelength spectrum was in the range of 310–315 nm, single doses were between 0.0018 and 0.432 J cm−2. After 7 days the morphology and growth direction of C. albicans cells were determined microscopically. All six strains showed a common and dose-dependent response to UVB irradiation: the progression of hyphal growth was inhibited, no phototropic effects were seen and as a new finding an increased formation of blastospores was observed. We conclude that an irradiation of human skin colonized by C. albicans with doses of UVB that can occur under natural or artificial conditions is unlikely to trigger skin invasion by C. albicans.

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