Proposal for a microcosm biofilm model for the study of vulvovaginal candidiasis.Biofouling. 2020 May; 36(5):610-620.B
This study proposes a microcosm biofilm (MiB) model for the study of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). Different conditions that mimic the vaginal environment were tested for MiB formation. The best growth conditions were obtained with samples incubated in vaginal fluid simulator medium pH 4.5 at 35 °C under a microaerophilic atmosphere. MiBs were evaluated for growth kinetics, fluconazole susceptibility and morphology. Samples containing high numbers of bacteria were analyzed for metagenomics. At 48 h, MiBs presented a higher cell density (CFU ml-1), a higher biomass and tolerance to fluconazole than their corresponding monospecies biofilms. Morphological analysis of MiBs revealed blastoconidia preferentially adhered to epithelial cells. Abundant Lactobacillus spp. were detected in two clinical samples; their MiBs showed a lower biomass and a higher fluconazole susceptibility. The proposed model proved to be a useful tool for the study of the complex microbial relationship in the vaginal environment, and may help to find new strategies for VVC control.