Background and aims. Atorvastatin is a plasma cholesterol-lowering drug which applies antifungal effects by inhibiting the production of yeast cell wall ergostrol. The aim of present study was to investigate in-vitro susceptibility of candida species to atorvastatin, in comparison to nystatin and fluconazole.

Methods. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFC) were determined using serial dilution. Candida strains isolated from 35 patients receiving cancer chemotherapy in Isfahan, Seyyed-al-Shohada Hospital and analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis and Mann Whitney statistical methods.

Results. Candida isolates included 5 strains, C.albicans, C.glabrata, C.kefyr, C.stellatoidea and C.krusei. All five strains appeared to be resistant to nystatin and fluconazole but sensitive to atorvastatin with no statistically significant difference. The MFC of atorvastatin was significantly lower in comparison to both nystatin and fluconazole for all five strains (p value<0.05). There was no significant difference between the MFCs of 5 strains for fluconazole and atorvastatin. However, MFC of nystatin differed significantly for C. albicans and C. kefyr (p=0.007).

Conclusion. The results showed that all strains were sensitive to atorvastatin and resistant to nystatin and fluconazole. Atorvastatin MIC for C.albicans, C.krusei and C.stellatoidea was equivalent to its serum level used to treat hyperlipidemia and was above such level for both C.glabrata and C.kefyr.


oral candidiasis, fluconazole, Nystatin, atorvastatin, cancer chemotherapy