Comparison between allicin and fluconazole in Candida albicans biofilm inhibition and in suppression of HWP1 gene expression

Phytomedicine. 2011 Dec 15;19(1):56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2011.08.060. Epub 2011 Sep 15.


Candida albicans is an opportunistic human pathogen with the ability to differentiate and grow in filamentous forms and exist as biofilms. The biofilms are a barrier to treatment as they are often resistant to the antifungal drugs. In this study, we investigated the antifungal activity of allicin, an active compound of garlic on various isolates of C. albicans. The effect of allicin on biofilm production in C. albicans as compared to fluconazole, an antifungal drug, was investigated using the tetrazolium (XTT) reduction-dependent growth and crystal violet assays as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Allicin-treated cells exhibited significant reduction in biofilm growth (p<0.05) compared to fluconazole-treated and also growth control cells. Moreover, observation by SEM of allicin and fluconazole-treated cells confirmed a dose-dependent membrane disruption and decreased production of organisms. Finally, the expression of selected genes involved in biofilm formation such as HWP1 was evaluated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and relative real time RT-PCR. Allicin was shown to down-regulate the expression of HWP1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Disulfides
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology*
  • Fungal Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Fungal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Garlic / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / drug effects
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sulfinic Acids / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Disulfides
  • Fungal Proteins
  • HWP1 protein, Candida albicans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Sulfinic Acids
  • allicin
  • Fluconazole