A simple catheter disk model system was used to study the development of mixed species biofilms of and , two organisms commonly found in catheter-associated infections. Two strains of were used: a slime-producing wild type (strain RP62A) and a slime-negative mutant (strain M7). In mixed fungal-bacterial biofilms, both staphylococcal strains showed extensive interactions with . The susceptibility of 48-h biofilms to fluconazole, vancomycin and mixtures of the drugs was determined colorimetrically. The results indicated that the extracellular polymer produced by RP62A could inhibit fluconazole penetration in mixed fungal-bacterial biofilms. Conversely, the presence of in a biofilm appeared to protect the slime-negative staphylococcus against vancomycin. Overall, the findings suggest that fungal cells can modulate the action of antibiotics, and that bacteria can affect antifungal activity in mixed fungal-bacterial biofilms.


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