The Emerging Pathogen Candida auris: Growth Phenotype, Virulence Factors, Activity of Antifungals, and Effect of SCY-078, a Novel Glucan Synthesis Inhibitor, on Growth Morphology and Biofilm Formation

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Apr 24;61(5):e02396-16. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02396-16. Print 2017 May.


Candidaauris, a new multidrug-resistant Candida spp. which is associated with invasive infection and high rates of mortality, has recently emerged. Here, we determined the virulence factors (germination, adherence, biofilm formation, phospholipase and proteinase production) of 16 C. auris isolates and their susceptibilities to 11 drugs belonging to different antifungal classes, including a novel orally bioavailable 1,3-β-d-glucan synthesis inhibitor (SCY-078). We also examined the effect of SCY-078 on the growth, ultrastructure, and biofilm-forming abilities of C. auris Our data showed that while the tested strains did not germinate, they did produce phospholipase and proteinase in a strain-dependent manner and had a significantly reduced ability to adhere and form biofilms compared to that of Candida albicans (P = 0.01). C. auris isolates demonstrated reduced susceptibility to fluconazole and amphotericin B, while, in general, they were susceptible to the remaining drugs tested. SCY-078 had an MIC90 of 1 mg/liter against C. auris and caused complete inhibition of the growth of C. auris and C. albicans Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that SCY-078 interrupted C. auris cell division, with the organism forming abnormal fused fungal cells. Additionally, SCY-078 possessed potent antibiofilm activity, wherein treated biofilms demonstrated significantly reduced metabolic activity and a significantly reduced thickness compared to the untreated control (P < 0.05 for both comparisons). Our study shows that C. auris expresses several virulence determinants (albeit to a lesser extent than C. albicans) and is resistant to fluconazole and amphotericin B. SCY-078, the new orally bioavailable antifungal, had potent antifungal/antibiofilm activity against C. auris, indicating that further evaluation of this antifungal is warranted.

Keywords: Candida auris; SCY-078; biofilm; virulence.

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candida / growth & development
  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Candida / pathogenicity*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Fungal
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology
  • Glucans / biosynthesis
  • Glycosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Peptide Hydrolases / biosynthesis
  • Phospholipases / biosynthesis
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Virulence Factors


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Glucans
  • Glycosides
  • Triterpenes
  • Virulence Factors
  • Amphotericin B
  • Fluconazole
  • ibrexafungerp
  • Phospholipases
  • Peptide Hydrolases