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Chapter 18 : Gene Expression during the Distinct Stages of Candidiasis
Category: Fungi and Fungal Pathogenesis; Clinical Microbiology
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This chapter summarizes some of the known and proposed infection strategies and underlying transcriptional responses which govern them. Although similar strategies may be used by other pathogenic Candida species which are commonly found as commensals, the focus is on Candida albicans as the most common and best-investigated species. The ability of C. albicans to colonize surfaces therefore constitutes a vital first step in many forms of candidiasis. In nature, the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of neither rats nor mice are colonized by C. albicans, and in order to establish colonization, some form of treatment such as the use of antibiotics is usually necessary. Certain predisposing conditions permit C. albicans to switch from a harmless commensal of the oral mucosa to an aggressive pathogen able to cause superficial infections of the oral cavity and oropharyngeal regions. The commensally colonized tissue could then be monitored to detect the natural fluctuations in C. albicans gene expression in the oral cavity. Simultaneously, the transcript profile of C. albicans in the disease state could be determined over time. To study the virulence properties of C. albicans in a mouse model, two infection routes are commonly used. Intravenous infection results in direct hematogenous dissemination via the bloodstream. Another method for inducing invasive candidiasis is via intraperitoneal infection.
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General aspects of Candida albicans-host interactions. During all forms of candidiasis, the fungus must sense and respond to the local environment, acquire nutrients, and resist environmental stresses. C. albicans is capable of adhering to various substrata, growing in different morphologies (dimorphism), invading host cells, and secreting extracellular hydro-lases which, under certain circumstances, can lead to damage of the host. For a more detailed summary of the genes involved in these processes during the distinct stages of candidiasis, refer to Table 1 . doi:10.1128/9781555817176.ch18.f1
Summary of transcriptional profiling of C. albicans infection model studies a