BERNABÉ, P.; BECHERÁN, L.; CABRERA-BARJAS, G.; NEŠIĆ, A.; ALBURQUENQUE, C.; TAPIA, C; TABOADA, E.; ALDERETE, J.; DE LOS RÍOS, P.:
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 149 (2020) 962-975.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.01.126

Abstract

In the present work, the chemical composition of the Chilean freshwater crab Aegla cholchol exoskeleton was studied for the first time. α-Chitin was isolated from three main body parts (pincers, legs, carapace), and its content ranged from 9.0–10.4% (w/w). Moreover, chitosan was extracted by alkaline treatment at different temperature and time regimes. Aegla cholcholexoskeleton, chitin and chitosans were characterized by FTIR, TGA, and SEM. Chemical structure of chitin and chitosan was confirmed by NMR spectroscopy. Chitosan molecular weight determinations were carried out by GPC. The obtained chitosan samples had a degree of N-acetylation (DA) between 4 and 15% and molecular weight (Mw) in the range of 65–201 kDa. The antifungal activity of the chitosan samples and the chitooligomer were tested toward twenty isolated clinical strains of Candida yeast. Chitosan with lower DA (4%) and higher molecular weight showed the lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values, which was evidenced by the highest antifungal activity toward Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, and Candida parapsilosis. Results suggest that Aegla cholchol is an excellent natural source for production of bioactive materials with potential applications in the health system, to prevent infections associated with Candida strains.

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