Candida species: current epidemiology, pathogenicity, biofilm formation, natural antifungal products and new therapeutic options

J Med Microbiol. 2013 Jan;62(Pt 1):10-24. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.045054-0. Epub 2012 Nov 22.


The incidence of fungal infections has increased significantly, so contributing to morbidity and mortality. This is caused by an increase in antimicrobial resistance and the restricted number of antifungal drugs, which retain many side effects. Candida species are major human fungal pathogens that cause both mucosal and deep tissue infections. Recent evidence suggests that the majority of infections produced by this pathogen are associated with biofilm growth. Biofilms are biological communities with a high degree of organization, in which micro-organisms form structured, coordinated and functional communities. These biological communities are embedded in a self-created extracellular matrix. Biofilm production is also associated with a high level of antimicrobial resistance of the associated organisms. The ability of Candida species to form drug-resistant biofilms is an important factor in their contribution to human disease. The study of plants as an alternative to other forms of drug discovery has attracted great attention because, according to the World Health Organization, these would be the best sources for obtaining a wide variety of drugs and could benefit a large population. Furthermore, silver nanoparticles, antibodies and photodynamic inactivation have also been used with good results. This article presents a brief review of the literature regarding the epidemiology of Candida species, as well as their pathogenicity and ability to form biofilms, the antifungal activity of natural products and other therapeutic options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / classification
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biofilms* / drug effects
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Candida / classification
  • Candida / pathogenicity
  • Candida / physiology*
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy*
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology*
  • Humans


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Biological Products