The antagonistic effect of Saccharomyces boulardii on Candida albicans filamentation, adhesion and biofilm formation

FEMS Yeast Res. 2009 Dec;9(8):1312-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2009.00559.x. Epub 2009 Aug 5.


The dimorphic fungus Candida albicans is a member of the normal flora residing in the intestinal tract of humans. In spite of this, under certain conditions it can induce both superficial and serious systemic diseases, as well as be the cause of gastrointestinal infections. Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast strain that has been shown to have applications in the prevention and treatment of intestinal infections caused by bacterial pathogens. The purpose of this study was to determine whether S. boulardii affects the virulence factors of C. albicans. We demonstrate the inhibitory effect of live S. boulardii cells on the filamentation (hyphae and pseudohyphae formation) of C. albicans SC5314 strain proportional to the amount of S. boulardii added. An extract from S. boulardii culture has a similar effect. Live S. boulardii and the extract from S. boulardii culture filtrate diminish C. albicans adhesion to and subsequent biofilm formation on polystyrene surfaces under both aerobic and microaerophilic conditions. This effect is very strong and requires lower doses of S. boulardii cells or concentrations of the extract than serum-induced filamentation tests. Saccharomyces boulardii has a strong negative effect on very important virulence factors of C. albicans, i.e. the ability to form filaments and to adhere and form biofilms on plastic surfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Antibiosis*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Candida albicans / cytology*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development*
  • Candida albicans / physiology
  • Candida albicans / ultrastructure
  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Humans
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Microscopy
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Saccharomyces / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces / ultrastructure