Candida species are a major cause of catheter infections. Using a central venous catheter Candida albicans biofilm model, we demonstrated that chitosan, a polymer isolated from crustacean exoskeletons, inhibits candidal biofilm formation in vivo. Furthermore, chitosan statistically significantly decreased both the metabolic activity of the biofilms and the cell viability of C. albicans and Candida parapsilosis biofilms in vitro. In addition, confocal and scanning electron microscopic examination demonstrated that chitosan penetrates candidal biofilms and damages fungal cells. Importantly, the concentrations of chitosan that were used to evaluate fungal biofilm susceptibility were not toxic to human endothelial cells. Chitosan should be considered for the prevention or treatment of fungal biofilms on central venous catheters and perhaps other medical devices.
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