Human lactoferrin-derived peptide's antifungal activities against disseminated Candida albicans infection

Antonella Lupetti, Carlo P.J.M. Brouwer, Sylvia J.P. Bogaards, Mick M. Welling, Emile De Heer, Mario Campa, Jaap T. Van Dissel, Robert H.E. Friesen, Peter H. Nibbering

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Background. Because the human lactoferrin-derived peptide, hLF(1-11), exerts potent in vitro candidacidal activity, we investigated whether it displays antifungal activity against disseminated Candida albicans infections. Methods. Neutropenic mice were intravenously infected with C. albicans and, 24 h later, were injected with hLF(1-11); 18 h later, the number of viable yeasts in the kidneys was determined microbiologically, the size and number of infectious foci were determined histologically, and serum cytokine levels were determined by immunoassays. Results. hLF(1-11) was effective (maximum reduction, 1.5 logs) against disseminated C. albicans infections, and its antifungal activity leveled off at a concentration of 0.4 ng of hLF(1-11)/kg of body weight. The antifungal activity of hLF(1-11) was increased in mice injected with interleukin (IL)-10 neutralizing antibodies, which suggests that IL-10 reduces the antifungal activity of hLF(1-11). In agreement with this result was the finding that injection of high doses of hLF(1-11) into infected mice was accompanied by increased levels of IL-10 in serum. Microscopic analysis revealed that infectious foci in kidneys of hLF(1-11)-treated mice contained mainly blastoconidia, whereas filamentous forms were abundant in untreated mice. The peptide inhibited the in vitro morphological transition of C. albicans, in a dose-dependent manner Conclusions. hLF(1-11) is effective against disseminated C. albicans infections; and its effects on C. albicans viability and virulence and on host cells may explain this antifungal activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1416-1424
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

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