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.
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