Antifungal effects of the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin: a possible alternative for the control of fungal biofilms

Biofouling. 2019 Mar;35(3):320-328. doi: 10.1080/08927014.2019.1604948. Epub 2019 May 8.


This study aimed to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of kaempferol and quercetin against planktonic and biofilm forms of the Candida parapsilosis complex. Initially, nine C. parapsilosis sensu stricto, nine C. orthopsilosis and nine C. metapsilosis strains were used. Planktonic susceptibility to kaempferol and quercetin was assessed. Growing and mature biofilms were then exposed to the flavonoids at MIC or 10xMIC, respectively, and theywere also analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The MIC ranges were 32-128 µg ml-1 for kaempferol and 0.5-16 µg ml-1 for quercetin. Kaempferol and quercetin decreased (P < 0.05) the metabolic activity and biomass of growing biofilms of the C. parapsilosis complex. As for mature biofilms, the metabolic effects of the flavonoids varied, according to the cryptic species, but kaempferol caused an overall reduction in biofilm biomass. Microscopic analyses showed restructuring of biofilms after flavonoid exposure. These results highlight the potential use of these compounds as sustainable resources for the control of fungal biofilms.

Keywords: C. parapsilosis complex; antifungal activity; biofilm; kaempferol; quercetin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kaempferols / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Kaempferols
  • kaempferol
  • Quercetin