• Candida albicans;
  • gut translocation;
  • ischemia–reperfusion;
  • polygodial–anethole compound;
  • protein–calorie malnutrition.

OBJECTIVE:  The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that protein–calorie malnutrition aggravates the gut translocation of Candida albicans triggered by mesenteric ischemia–reperfusion (IR) injury in an experimental model while testing a natural product containing the antifungal anethole/polygodial mixture (Kolorex®).

METHODS:  MFI strain white mice (n = 90) were randomly allocated to a 4-week dietary regimen: (1) standard pellet diet containing 25% casein; (2) low-protein (2.5%) casein diet; (3) as group 2 plus oral supplementation with 20 µL of a 5% solution of Kolorex® during the last 4 days. Twenty rats from each of these groups (termed 1a, 2a and 3a) were orally inoculated with Candida suspension 6 h prior to mesenteric IR injury. Animals of each group but without Candida inoculation (termed 1b, 2b and 3b) served as control. A colon permeability study was carried out as well. Rats were killed prior to the IR injury and 3 h afterwards. Control rats were killed at the same time.

RESULTS:  Over 60% of the mesenteric lymph nodes and 30% of kidney samples were positive for C. albicans in the low-protein-fed rats after IR injury. Kolorex® significantly decreased that rate of positivity and also significantly reduced the concentration of C. albicans per gram of each positive tissue sample examined. Protein–calorie malnourished animals showed a statistically significant increase in colon permeability and this phenomenon further increased after IR injury. The groups of rats treated with Kolorex® compound showed a partial, although significant, improvement of this parameter.

CONCLUSIONS:  These results suggest that Kolorex® might exert a competitive effect against with C. albicans colonization. The present study represents the first experimental in vivo investigation of the anethole/polygodial-containing compound under the specific conditions of calorie–protein malnutrition and the results have potential clinical interest.