Identification of a Phenylthiazole Small Molecule with Dual Antifungal and Antibiofilm Activity Against Candida albicans and Candida auris
Eldesouky, Hassan E.
Mayhoub, Abdelrahman S.
Seleem, Mohamed N.
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Candida species are a leading source of healthcare infections globally. The limited number of antifungal drugs combined with the isolation of Candida species, namely C. albicans and C. auris, exhibiting resistance to current antifungals necessitates the development of new therapeutics. The present study tested 85 synthetic phenylthiazole small molecules for antifungal activity against drug-resistant C. albicans. Compound 1 emerged as the most potent molecule, inhibiting growth of C. albicans and C. auris strains at concentrations ranging from 0.25–2 µg/mL. Additionally, compound 1 inhibited growth of other clinically-relevant yeast (Cryptococcus) and molds (Aspergillus) at a concentration as low as 0.50 µg/mL. Compound 1 exhibited rapid fungicidal activity, reducing the burden of C. albicans and C. auris below the limit of detection within 30 minutes. Compound 1 exhibited potent antibiofilm activity, similar to amphotericin B, reducing the metabolic activity of adherent C. albicans and C. auris biofilms by more than 66% and 50%, respectively. Furthermore, compound 1 prolonged survival of Caenorhabditis elegans infected with strains of C. albicans and C. auris, relative to the untreated control. The present study highlights phenylthiazole small molecules, such as compound 1, warrant further investigation as novel antifungal agents for drug-resistant Candida infections.