Spongistatin 1, a macrocyclic lactone polyether from the marine sponge Hyrtios erecta, was fungicidal for a variety of opportunistic yeasts and filamentous fungi, including strains resistant to amphotericin B, ketoconazole and flucytosine. In broth macrodilution assays, MICs ranged from 0.195 to 12.5 μg/ml, and minimum fungicidal concentrations ranged from 3.12 to 25 μg/ml. Initial disk diffusion screens with six related macrocyclic lactone polyethers from H. erecta and Spirastrella spinispirulifera, revealed that these polyethers were also antifungal. The fungicidal activity of spongistatin 1 was confirmed in killing kinetics studies, where killing of Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans occurred within 6 and 12 h, respectively. During the killing kinetics experiments, non-treated C. albicans maintained the yeast morphology. However, elongated forms resembling germ tubes were the predominant morphologic form in spongistatin 1-treated C. albicans cultures. The spongistatins show promise as potential antifungal agents and as probes to study fungal morphogenesis and nuclear division.
- Antifungal susceptibility
- Opportunistic fungi