This project is associated to FAPESP doctoral fellowship process number 2014/24626-9, entitled: "Syngonanthus nitens (Bong.) Ruhland: biological and chemical prospecting of the methanolic extract in the vulvovaginal candidiasis treatment". The work will be performed under supervisor of the Prof. Dr.Ir. Hendrik Jan Busscher (University Medical Center Groningen/University of Groningen, Groningen - The Netherlands), a researcher who is well recognized for his studies involving microbial biofilms. The incidence of chronic diseases caused by fungal biofilms such as candidiasis caused by Candida albicans has increased dramatically in the last decades as a result of an expanding population of immunocompromised patients and constitutes the most common fungal infection in all ages. The therapy available to candidiasis episodes by this species has limitations, such as high rates of side effects and prevalence of multidrug resistant stains, and the major factor of this problem is associate to presence of biofilm. Thus, studies in the Prof. Dr.Ir. Hendrik Jan Busscher's laboratory investigate the behaviour of microbial biofilms to better understand and offer a more general perspective of C. albicans pathogenesis and results have already provided new paradigms in the host-fungus relationship during candidiasis. This project aims to explore the influence of Syngonanthus nitens derivatives in fungal biofilm adherence to understand even more the mechanism of action related to the antifungal activity, once we have already confirmed that this plant derivative has this property. We also would like to discover whether there are differences in the mechanism of action when this plant derivative is loaded or not loaded into nanostructured systems. The assays of interference of biofilms will be performed in a parallel plate flow chamber and on vaginal epithelial cells. Besides the evaluation of genes expression associated to biofilm adhesion, ergosterol synthesis and resistance profile, will be performed to explain the role of this plant derivative (loaded and unloaded in a lipid nanostructured system) in biofilm inhibition. In conclusion, this work will lead gain of knowledge to explore new approaches of plant extracts with antifungal properties against biofilm adhesion of the Candida albicans.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: