Effects of the natural peptide crotamine from a south american rattlesnake on Candida auris, an emergent multidrug antifungal resistant human pathogen

Invasive Candida infections are an important growing medical concern and treatment options are limited to a few antifungal drug classes, with limited efficacies depending on the infecting organism. In this scenario, invasive infections caused by multiresistant Candida auris are emerging in several places around the world as important healthcare-associated infections. As antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) exert their activities primarily through mechanisms involving membrane disruption, they have a lower chance of inducing drug resistance than general chemical antimicrobials. Interestingly, we previously described the potent candicidal effect of a rattlesnake AMP, crotamine, against standard and treatment-resistant clinical isolates, with no hemolytic activity. We evaluated the antifungal susceptibility of several Candida spp. strains cultured from different patients by using the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) microdilution assay, and the antifungal activity of native crotamine was evaluated by a microbial growth inhibition microdilution assay. Although all Candida isolates evaluated here showed resistance to amphotericin B and fluconazole, crotamine (40–80 µM) exhibited in vitro activity against most isolates tested. We suggest that this native polypeptide from the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus has potential as a structural model for the generation of a new class of antimicrobial compounds with the power to fight against multiresistant Candida spp.
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rattlesnake venom toxin;  crotamine;  antimicrobial peptide;  multiresistant strain;  fungus;  Candida spp

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Mas CD, Rossato L, Shimizu T, Oliveira EB., Silva Junior PI, Meis JF., et al. Effects of the natural peptide crotamine from a south american rattlesnake on Candida auris, an emergent multidrug antifungal resistant human pathogen. Biomolecules. 2019 May;9(6):205. doi:10.3390/biom9060205.
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