Identification of Antifungal Compounds Active against Candida albicans Using an Improved High-Throughput Caenorhabditis elegans Assay

Abstract

Candida albicans, the most common human pathogenic fungus, can establish a persistent lethal infection in the intestine of the microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The C. elegans-C. albicans infection model was previously adapted to screen for antifungal compounds. Modifications to this screen have been made to facilitate a high-throughput assay including co-inoculation of nematodes with C. albicans and instrumentation allowing precise dispensing of worms into assay wells, eliminating two labor-intensive steps. This high-throughput method was utilized to screen a library of 3,228 compounds represented by 1,948 bioactive compounds and 1,280 small molecules derived via diversity-oriented synthesis. Nineteen compounds were identified that conferred an increase in C. elegans survival, including most known antifungal compounds within the chemical library. In addition to seven clinically used antifungal compounds, twelve compounds were identified which are not primarily used as antifungal agents, including three immunosuppressive drugs. This assay also allowed the assessment of the relative minimal inhibitory concentration, the effective concentration in vivo, and the toxicity of the compound in a single assay.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007025

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@inproceedings{Okoli2009IdentificationOA, title={Identification of Antifungal Compounds Active against Candida albicans Using an Improved High-Throughput Caenorhabditis elegans Assay}, author={Ikechukwu Okoli and Jeffrey J Coleman and Emmanouil Tempakakis and Wei An and Edward B. Holson and Florence F. Wagner and Annie L. Conery and Jonah Larkins-Ford and Gang Wu and Andy Stern and Frederick M. Ausubel and Eleftherios Mylonakis}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2009} }