A broad-spectrum antifungal from the marine sponge Hyrtios erecta

Robin Pettit, Shane C. McAllister, George Pettit, Cherry L. Herald, J. Morris Johnson, Zbigniew Cichacz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Spongistatin 1, a macrocyclic lactone polyether from the marine sponge Hyrtios erecta, was fungicidal for a variety of opportunistic yeasts and filamentous fungi, including strains resistant to amphotericin B, ketoconazole and flucytosine. In broth macrodilution assays, MICs ranged from 0.195 to 12.5 μg/ml, and minimum fungicidal concentrations ranged from 3.12 to 25 μg/ml. Initial disk diffusion screens with six related macrocyclic lactone polyethers from H. erecta and Spirastrella spinispirulifera, revealed that these polyethers were also antifungal. The fungicidal activity of spongistatin 1 was confirmed in killing kinetics studies, where killing of Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans occurred within 6 and 12 h, respectively. During the killing kinetics experiments, non-treated C. albicans maintained the yeast morphology. However, elongated forms resembling germ tubes were the predominant morphologic form in spongistatin 1-treated C. albicans cultures. The spongistatins show promise as potential antifungal agents and as probes to study fungal morphogenesis and nuclear division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1998


  • Antifungal susceptibility
  • Opportunistic fungi
  • Spongistatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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