The fungicidal effect of human lactoferrin on Candida albicans and Candida krusei

H. Nikawa, L. P. Samaranayake, J. Tenovuo, K. M. Pang, T. Hamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Five oral isolates each of Candida albicans and Candida krusei were studied for their sensitivity to the fungicidal effect of human lactoferrin. Significant inter- and intraspecies variations were observed and with most isolates the sensitivity of C. krusei to lactoferrin was greater than that of C. albicans. Fungicidal activity of lactoferrin was dose-dependent and observable only with the irondashfree form of the molecule (apo-lactoferrin). Irondashsaturated lactoferrin was ineffective against all isolates. Supernatant protein assays and scanning electron microscopy indicated cell surface alterations-leakage of proteins and formation of surface blebs-only in those Candida isolates that were sensitive to apo-lactoferrin. As lactoferrin is a common, nondashimmune, mucosal defence protein, its varying mode of action against C. albicans and C. krusei may be related to their different oral carriage rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1063
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Candida albicans
  • Candida krusei
  • lactoferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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