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Fungicidal effect of human lactoferrin against Candida albicans

Tero Soukka, Jorma Tenovuo, Marianne Lenander-Lumikari
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1992.tb05156.x 223-228 First published online: 1 January 1992


Human lactoferrin (LF) in its iron-free state (apo LF), killed Candida albicans in a time- and dose-dependent way. The lethal effect was stronger at pH 7.0 than at pH 5.5 and maximum inhibition at neutral pH was achieved in 25 min when the fungal cells were exposed to LF in 0.05 mM KCl at 37°C. Fe3+ -saturated LF had no fungicidal activity. Apo LF-mediated killing was also temperature-dependent with enhanced inhibition at higher temperatures (37°, 42°C). The presence of 1 mM d-glucose did not affect the candidacidal activity of apo LF but both phosphate and bicarbonate ions at physiological salivary concentrations completely blocked the antifungal effect. Therefore it seems unlikely that LF belongs to the major host defence factors against oral candidosis.

Key words
  • Lactoferrin
  • Candida albicans
  • Yeasts
  • Saliva
  • Antimicrobial agents

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