Antifungal Activity of Xylitol against Candida albicans: An in vitro Study

J Contemp Dent Pract. 2018 Feb 1;19(2):125-129. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-2225.


Aim: The most common fungal infection among human population is candidiasis, the etiology of which is mostly Candida albicans. As a result of a disrupted balance of the normal flora or a compromised immune system, Candida species can become pathogenic. Various in vitro surveys have shown that glucose intake is a promoter of C. albicans growth, whereas in vivo studies have found that xylitol can decrease the risk of candidiasis and angular cheilitis. Hence, we aimed to evaluate for the first time the inhibitory effects of xylitol on C. albicans by assessing its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC).

Materials and methods: The standard strain of C. albicans was acquired. The fungi were incubated in supplemented brain-heart infusion broth for 48 hours at 37°C. The MIC was measured according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) M100-S24 standard. Microdilution method was applied using 360-uL sterilized polystyrene flat-bottomed 96-well plates. The antimicrobial effects were examined by the microbroth dilution method according to the CLSI M100-S24 standard.

Results: The MIC of xylitol for C. albicans was found to be 20 × 104 μg/mL. Furthermore, the concentration of 40 × 104 μg/mL with a decrease of 99.95% in the colony-forming units (CFUs) of the microorganism was found to be the MFC of xylitol for C. albicans.

Conclusion: According to the results of this survey, xylitol has considerable antimicrobial effects. Hence, this substance can be used as an effective element in gums, toothpastes, and antimicrobial mouthwashes, especially in patients with candidiasis.

Clinical significance: By knowing the MIC and MFC of xylitol, this substance can be effectively used in products aimed to cure this fungal infection.

Keywords: Candida albicans; Minimum fungicidal concentration; Minimum inhibitory concentration Xylitol..

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Xylitol / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Xylitol