Usually this species causes no harm to humans unless it can breach the body's immune defences, where can lead to serious illness or death. It is known as an opportunistic pathogen that can colonise and infect individuals with a compromised immune system.
New research, presented today at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference, gives us a greater understanding of how mucosal surfaces in the body respond to C. albicans to prevent damage being done during infection.
Researchers from King's College London focused on oral epithelial cells, a mucosal layer of cells that line the mouth, providing a barrier against microbes. The group challenged oral epithelial cells grown in vitro with C. albicans, looking at gene expression six and 24 hours after infection.
The results showed that a molecular signalling pathway know as the 'PI3 Kinase pathway' is activated as soon as five minutes after the epithelial cells encounter C. albicans, before the fungus has time to become invasive. This pathway seems to be involved in priming epithelial cells to protect against future damage. Inhibiting the PI3 Kinase pathway increased the amount of damage caused by C. albicans and reduced the normal tissue healing response.
This finding makes the PI3 Kinase pathway an attractive target for new therapeutics against C. albicans. Dr David Moyes, who presented the work at the conference, hopes that by boosting the activity of the pathway it may be possible to reduce the fungus's ability to cause tissue damage.
He explains, "We are developing a complete picture of how C. albicans interacts with the epithelial cells that make up our mucosal surfaces and learning how they are able to discriminate between harmless and harmful microbes.
"Many of the symptoms of C. albicans infection, are caused by the body's incorrect or overactive response to cell damage. Developing therapies that act on the patient, not the microbe, provides an entirely novel way of treating an infection and the likelihood of resistance is much reduced."
Candida infections are the third most commonly acquired hospital blood-borne infection, resulting in 50,000 deaths annually. Over 75 per cent of fertile age women will suffer from at least one Candida infection and there are around 2 million cases of oral candidiasis each year among HIV/AIDS patients.
Benjamin Thompson | EurekAlert!
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy