Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Virulence factor that induces fatal Candida infection identified

Culprit is factor produced by intestinal bacteria

Scientists here have found that certain substances from bacteria living in the human intestine cause the normally harmless Candida albicans fungus to become highly infectious.

This discovery by researchers at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)'s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) could possibly lead to the development of novel treatments for immunocompromised patients infected by the fungus.

The team of scientists, led by Associate Professor Wang Yue, a principal investigator at the IMCB, identified peptidoglycan (PGN) — a carbohydrate from bacteria — as a factor responsible for causing the conversion of the otherwise harmless C. albicans to its infectious form.

... more about:
»Infection »Infectious »albicans »bacteria »fungus

The research findings were recently published in the current journal Cell Host & Microbe.

Once in the infectious form, the fungus is able to invade surrounding tissues and escape destruction by the body's own immune cells. Since immunocompromised patients such as those with AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment are extremely susceptible to fungal-induced systemic infections, this finding offers an important clue to the basis of C. albicans infections.

After confirming the presence of PGN-derived molecules in human blood, the researchers discovered that the fungus is able to "sense" the presence of the same molecules, which are produced in abundance by bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal track. Earlier studies suggested that PGNs can enter the blood stream through the intestinal wall.

When direct binding of the PGN-derived molecules to a specific protein in C. albicans takes place, it triggers interactions and "sensing" processes that induce the fungus to start growing long, threadlike tubes called hyphae, hence signifying its conversion to the virulent, life-threatening form.

This is the first time that the identities of the "inducer" and that of its "sensor" in C. albicans have been clearly established.

Said Wang, who has been working on C. albicans for more than eight years, "It has been more than 50 years since human blood was first found to contain molecules that can strongly induce C. albicans infection. In spite of efforts by many laboratories worldwide, the identity of the 'inducer' remained elusive.

Thus, we are very excited about being able to help solve this long-held mystery. Finding the PGN sensor in C. albicans is also of great importance, because we can now develop anti-Candida therapies by blocking the sensory mechanism."

According to UNAIDS statistics, the AIDS pandemic claimed an estimated 2.1 million lives in 2007 alone. The latest findings by the Singapore researchers may provide insight for the development of potential anti-Candida therapy in patients suffering from fungal-induced systemic infections.

Previous research breakthroughs by the IMCB team included the discovery of the gene involved in triggering the infectious form of C. albicans, as well as the way in which the gene and its by-products facilitated the transformation process of the fungus.

Cathy Yarbrough | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Infection Infectious albicans bacteria fungus

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Make way for the mini flying machines
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>