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Open AccessArticle

Enhanced Killing of Candida krusei by Polymorphonuclear Leucocytes in the Presence of Subinhibitory Concentrations of Melaleuca alternifolia and “Mentha of Pancalieri” Essential Oils

1
Dept. Public Health and Pediatrics, Microbiology Division, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy
2
Area Servizi Alla Ricerca Polo Agraria e Medicina Veterinaria, University of Turin, 10095 Turin, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniela Rigano
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3824; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213824
Received: 26 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils as Antimicrobial and Anti-infectious Agents II)
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of tea tree oil (TTO) and “Mentha of Pancalieri” essential oil (MPP) on intracellular killing of Candida krusei, often resistant to conventional drugs, by polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs). Intracellular killing was investigated by incubating yeasts and PMNs with essential oils (EOs) at 1/4 and 1/8 × MIC (Minimal Inhibitory Concentration), in comparison with anidulafungin, used as a reference drug. Killing values were expressed as Survival Index (SI) values. The cytotoxicity of EOs was evaluated by 3-[4,-5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Both EOs were more efficaceous at 1/8 × MIC than 1/4 × MIC, with killing values higher than observed in EO-free systems and in presence of anidulafungin, indicating that the decreasing concentrations did not cause lower candidacidal activity. This better activity at 1/8 × MIC is probably due to the EOs’ toxicity at 1/4 × MIC, suggesting that at higher concentrations EOs might interfere with PMNs functionality. TTO and MPP at 1/8 × MIC significantly increased intracellular killing by PMNs through their direct action on the yeasts (both EOs) or on phagocytic cells (MPP), suggesting a positive interaction between EOs and PMNs to eradicate intracellular C. krusei. These data showed a promising potential application of TTO and “Mentha of Pancalieri” EO as natural adjuvants in C. krusei infection management. View Full-Text
Keywords: Candida krusei; PMNs; intracellular killing; essential oils; TTO; “Mentha of Pancalieri” EO Candida krusei; PMNs; intracellular killing; essential oils; TTO; “Mentha of Pancalieri” EO
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tullio, V.; Roana, J.; Scalas, D.; Mandras, N. Enhanced Killing of Candida krusei by Polymorphonuclear Leucocytes in the Presence of Subinhibitory Concentrations of Melaleuca alternifolia and “Mentha of Pancalieri” Essential Oils. Molecules 2019, 24, 3824.

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