The biodiversity and the killer activity of yeasts isolated from various types of fermented food in Malaysia were investigated in this study. Of 252 yeasts isolated from 48 fermented food samples in this study, 19 yeast species were identified based on sequence analysis of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 partial fragments of the yeasts. A total of 29 (11.5%) of the yeast isolates demonstrated killer activity to at least one Candida species tested in this study; including 22 isolates of Trichosporon asahii, 4 isolates of Pichia anomala, and one isolate each of Pichia norvegensis, Pichia fermentans and Issatchenkia orientalis, respectively. The presence of killer yeasts reflects antagonism that occurs during microbial interaction in the fermented food, whereby certain yeasts produce killer toxins and possibly other toxic substances in competition for limited nutrients and space. The anti-Candida activity demonstrated by killer yeasts in this study should be further explored for development of alternative therapy against candidiasis.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.