Antifungal activity of salivary mucin-derived peptide, MUC7 12-mer, in an in-vivo murine model of oral candidiasis
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We have characterized MUC7 12-mer peptide (RKSYKCLHKRCR, residues 40-51 of MUC7) in vitro , and studied its candidacidal activity in vivo , in a murine model of oral candidiasis. In vitro , surface characterization and interaction of peptide and candida were performed using infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, EDX-ray and contact angle measurements, and candidacidal activity was established using killing assay. Results of surface characterization showed no conclusive evidence for penetration and disruption of the microbial film morphology by MUC7 12-mer. Killing assay demonstrated MUC7 12-mer to be candidacidal. In vivo , oral candidiasis was induced in ICR (infection-resistant) mice following immunosupression, and infection evaluated both macroscopically and microbiologically. Antifungal treatment application was performed for 6 days. Candidacidal efficacy was evaluated microbiologically and histologically. Serum enzyme analysis was performed to determine toxicity. Results demonstrated MUC7 12-mer peptide to be candidacidal. In conclusion, MUC7 12-mer appears to be a promising candidate as an antifungal agent for oral candidiasis.