Background: In an era in which antimicrobial resistance is increasing at an
alarming pace, it is very important to find new antimicrobial agents effective against
pathogenic microrganisms resistant to traditional treatments. Among the notable breakthroughs
in the past years of research in natural-drug discovery, there is the identification
and testing of flavonoids, a group of plant-derived substances capable of promoting many
beneficial effects on humans. These compounds show different biological activities such
as inhibition of neuroinflammation and tumor growth as well as antimicrobial activity
against many microbial pathogens.
Methods: We undertook a review of protocols and standard strains used in studies reporting
the inhibitory effects of flavonoids against Candida albicans by focusing our attention
on genetic characterization of the strains examined. Moreover, using the C. albicans
MLST-database, we performed a phylogenetic analysis showing the genetic variation occurring
in this species.
Results: Today, we have enough information to estimate genetic diversity within microbial
species and recent data revealed that most of fungal pathogens show complex population
structures in which not a single isolate can be designated as representative of the entire
taxon. This is especially true for the highly divergent fungal pathogen C. albicans, in
which the assumption that one or few “standard strains” can represent the whole species is
overly unrealistic and should be laid to rest.
Conclusion: The goal of this article is to shed light on the extent of genetic variation in C.
albicans and how this phenomenon can largely influence the activity of flavonoids against