Statins are a class of drugs widely used for lowering high cholesterol levels through their action on 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of cholesterol. We studied the effects of two major statins, simvastatin and atorvastatin, on five Candida species and Aspergillus fumigatus. The statins strongly inhibited the growth of all species, except Candida krusei. Supplementation of Candida albicans and A. fumigatus with ergosterol or cholesterol in aerobic culture led to substantial recovery from the inhibition by statins, suggesting specificity of statins for the mevalonate synthesis pathway. Our findings suggest that the statins could have utility as antifungal agents and that fungal colonization could be affected in those on statin therapy.
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