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Salicylhydroxamic Acid Inhibits the Growth of Candida albicans

Authors: Simon Brown, Shu-Ying Marissa Pang, Stephen Tristram


Candida spp. are common and aggressive pathogens. Because of the growing resistance of Candida spp. to current antifungals, novel targets, found in Candida spp. but not in humans or other flora, have to be identified. The alternative oxidase (AOX) is one such possibility. This enzyme is insensitive to cyanide, but is sensitive to compounds such as salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), disulfiram and n-alkyl gallates. The growth Candida albicans was inhibited by SHAM (Ki = 9-15 mM) and cyanide (Ki = 2-4 mM), albeit to differing extents. The rate of O2 uptake was inhibited by less than 10% by 25 mM SHAM and by about 90% by 250 μM KCN. Although SHAM substantially inhibited the growth of C. albicans, it is unlikely that the inhibition of AOX was the cause. Salicylhydroxamic acid is used therapeutically in the treatment of urinary tract infections and urolithiasis, but it also has some potential in the treatment of C. albicans infection.

Keywords: Growth, respiration, Candida albicans, alternative oxidase, salicylhydroxamic acid

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