Virulence and pathogenicity aspects in Candida albicans infections

Omar Sadik, Irina Gheorghe, Mariana Carmen Chifiriuc     Published online: 21 April 2018

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Abstract Candida albicans is a commensal yeast that often colonizes various parts of humans, mainly epithelial, dermal or mucosal (oral cavity, gastrointestinal and genital tract etc.) tissues, but also an opportunistic pathogen that can be involved in a wide range of asymptomatic to severe, invasive infections in immunodeficient individuals. It exhibits certain unique properties such as phenotypic switching (crucial for avoiding the immune system), unique mating pattern (both asexual and sexual) and haploinsufficiency. This fungus has been also known to be a major cause of oral and skin infections, with a higher number of cases occurring in HIV positive individuals. Strains isolated from different parts of the body exhibit certain differences in their morphology and properties, among which, biofilms formation ability needs to be better understood in order to design efficient antifungal strategies. This review paper gives a brief description of various aspects of Candida albicans pathogenesis.


Keywords Candida albicans; opportunistic infections; phenotypic switching; fungal biofilms


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