Iranian researchers have investigated antifungal effects of indolicidin-conjugated gold nanoparticles on Candida albicans fungus.
Candida albicans is one of the main causes of death in patients who have suffered major burns. Resistance to opportunistic fungi, such as candida albicans, and the toxicity of anti-microbial drugs have increased the need to develop new drugs.
Burn injuries are among the most destructive types of injuries and a serious problem in the global public health. Burn wounds create an ideal environment for the growth of different types of microbes, including fungi. It is necessary to develop new antifungal drugs to treat fungal infections in patients with severe burns and to overcome drug resistance.
Development of indolicidin-conjugated gold nanoparticles
In this new study, researchers from Tarbiat Modarres University and Iran University of Medical Sciences conjugated gold nanoparticles with indolicidin and then applied them to fluconazole-resistant strains of candida albicans. They used a biophysical approach to characterize the conjugation of indolicidin. Indolicidin is a cationic peptide with antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Researchers also investigated toxicity and hemolytic activities of these nanoparticles. Fluconazole is widely used to treat candida infections and has high bio-availability and low toxicity. But still, chronic application of this drug will lead to the development of drug-resistant strains of candida. Thus it is crucial to develop new drugs that can overcome this challenge and replace the current available medications.
Meanwhile, nanoparticles are effective in treating bacterial and fungal infections. They are also a good choice for drug delivery. Combination of nanoparticles with antimicrobial peptides reduces the chance of toxicity, because it reduces the need for higher doses and at the same time increases antimicrobial activities. Recently, gold nanoparticles have caught the attention of scientists. They have very low toxicity and show strong antifungal activities against candida strains.
The findings of this study can lead to the development of new approaches for the treatment of candida infections. However, more animal studies are required to investigate the effectiveness of indolicidin-conjugated gold nanoparticles and their potential use as antifungal drugs.