Garlic alters the expression of putative virulence factor genes SIR2 and ECE1 in vulvovaginal C. albicans isolates



Said MM, Watson C, Grando D.


Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 27;10(1):3615. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-60178-0.


Vulvovaginal candidiasis causes sufferers much discomfort. Phytotherapy with garlic has been reported to be a possible alternative form of treatment; however, it is unknown why patients report varying success with this strategy. Fresh garlic extract has been shown to down-regulate the putative virulence gene, SIR2 in C. albicans. Our study aimed to see if previous observations were reproducible for the gene responsible for Candidalysin (ECE1). Two clinical strains from patients with reported variable efficacy of using garlic for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis were compared through biofilm assays and antimicrobial susceptibility. Real-time PCR was used to assess changes in gene expression when exposed to garlic. Treatment with fresh garlic extract and pure allicin (an active compound produced in cut garlic) resulted in a decrease in SIR2 expression in all strains. In contrast, ECE1 expression was up-regulated in a reference strain and an isolate from a patient unresponsive to garlic therapy, while in an isolate from a patient responsive to garlic therapy, down-regulation of ECE1 occurred. Future studies that investigate the effectiveness of phytotherapies should take into account possible varying responses of individual strains and that gene expression may be amplified in the presence of serum.

Keywords: .

Link/DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-60178-0