Although yeast are generally non-haemolytic, we have found that addition of alcohol vapour confers haemolytic properties on many strains of yeast and other fungi. We have called this phenomenon 'microbial alcohol-conferred haemolysis' (MACH). MACH is species- and strain-specific: whereas all six Candida tropicalis strains tested were haemolytic in the presence of ethanol, none among 10 C. glabrata strains tested exhibited this phenomenon. Among 27 C. albicans strains and 11 Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains tested, ethanol-mediated haemolysis was observed in 11 and 4 strains, respectively. Haemolysis is also dependent on the alcohol moiety: n-butanol and n-pentanol could also confer haemolysis, whereas methanol and 2-propanol did not. Haemolysis was found to be dependent on initial oxidation of the alcohol. Reduced haemolysis was observed in specific alcohol debydrogenase mutants of both Aspergillus nidulans and S. cerevisiae. MACH was not observed during anaerobic growth, and was reduced in the presence of pararosaniline, an aldehyde scavenger. Results suggest that initial oxidation of the alcohol to the corresponding aldehyde is an essential step in the observed phenomenon.
- Blood agar