Effect of dietary carbohydrates on the in vitro epithelial adhesion of Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei

New Microbiol. 2000 Jan;23(1):63-71.


Adhesion to epithelial surfaces is considered as a critical step in the pathogenesis of oral candidosis. Therefore, the effects of the most commonly consumed dietary carbohydrates on the adhesion of Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei to monolayered HeLa cells were investigated. Adherence of C. albicans and C. tropicalis appeared significantly promoted by incubation in defined medium containing a high concentration (500 mM) of fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose (p < 0.001). C. albicans organisms grown in sucrose elicited maximal increase in adhesion, whereas adhesion of C. tropicalis and C. krusei was enhanced to the greatest extent when cultured in glucose. Maltose and fructose also promoted adherence of C. albicans and C. tropicalis (p < 0.001), but to a lesser extent than sucrose and glucose. On the other hand, sorbitol-grown yeasts demonstrated a marginal increase in adhesion (p > 0.01). Xylitol only significantly reduced adherence of C. albicans (p < 0.001). These results suggest that the frequent consumption of carbohydrates, such as sucrose, glucose, maltose, or fructose, might represent a risk factor for oral candidosis. The limitation of their consumption by substituting xylitol or sorbitol could be of value in the control of oral Candida colonization and infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida / physiology*
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Candidiasis, Oral / microbiology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Culture Media
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Culture Media
  • Dietary Carbohydrates