Antifungal Potential of Marine Organisms of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) against Medically Important Candida spp.

Dawrin Pech-Puch, Diana Grilo, Susana Eunice Calva-Pérez, Andreia Pedras, Harold Villegas-Hernández, Sergio Guillén-Hernández, Raúl Díaz-Gamboa, Mateo Forero Tunjano, Jaime Rodríguez, Oscar A. Lenis-Rojas, Carlos Jiménez, Catarina Pimentel

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Invasive fungal infections represent a global health threat. They are associated with high mortality and morbidity rates, partly due to the ineffectiveness of the available antifungal agents. The rampant increase in infections recalcitrant to the current antifungals has worsened this scenario and made the discovery of new and more effective antifungals a pressing health issue. In this study, 65 extracts from marine organisms of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, were screened for antifungal activity against Candida albicans and Candida glabrata, two of the most prevalent fungal species that cause nosocomial invasive fungal infections worldwide. A total of 51 sponges, 13 ascidians and 1 gorgonian were collected from the coral reef and mangrove forest in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) and extracted with organic solvents. Nine crude extracts showed potent antifungal activity, of which four extracts from the sponge species Aiolochroia crassa, Amphimedon compressa, Monanchora arbuscula and Agelas citrina had promising activity against Candida spp. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the M. arbuscula extract revealed the remarkable fungicidal activity of some fractions. Analysis of the chemical composition of one of the most active fractions by UHPLC-HRMS and NMR indicated the presence of mirabilin B and penaresidin B, and their contribution to the observed antifungal activity is discussed. Overall, this work highlights marine organisms of the Yucatan Peninsula as important reservoirs of natural products with promising fungicidal activity, which may greatly advance the treatment of invasive fungal infections, especially those afflicting immunosuppressed patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number606
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • antifungal
  • Candida
  • marine natural products
  • Yucatan Peninsula


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