Proanthocyanidin-rich Extracts from Cranberry Fruit ( Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) Selectively Inhibit the Growth of Human Pathogenic Fungi Candida spp. and Cryptococcus neoformans.
Cranberry ( Vaccinium macrocarpon ) has been shown in clinical studies to reduce infections caused by Escherichia coli and other bacteria, and proanthocyanidins are believed to play a role. The ability of cranberry to inhibit the growth of opportunistic human fungal pathogens that cause oral, skin, respiratory, and systemic infections has not been well-studied. Fractions from whole cranberry fruit were screened for inhibition of five Candida species and Cryptococcus neoformans , a causative agent of fungal meningitis. Candida glabrata , Candida lusitaniae , Candida krusei , and Cryptococcus neoformans showed significant susceptibility to treatment with cranberry proanthocyanidin fractions in a broth microdilution assay, with minimum inhibitory concentrations as low as 1 mug/mL. MALDI-TOF MS analysis of subfractions detected epicatechin oligomers of up to 12 degrees of polymerization. Those containing larger oligomers caused the strongest inhibition. This study suggests that cranberry has potential as an antifungal agent.