Candida albicansandEnterococcus faecalisin the gutSynergy in commensalism?

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The fungusCandida albicansand the gram-positive bacteriumEnterococcus faecalisare both normal residents of the human gut microbiome and cause opportunistic disseminated infections in immunocompromised individuals. Using a nematode infection model, we recently showed that co-infection resulted in less pathology and less mortality than infection with either species alone and this was partly explained by an interkingdom signaling event in which a bacterial-derived product inhibits hyphal morphogenesis ofC. albicans.In this addendum we discuss these findings in the contest of other described bacterial-fungal interactions and recent data suggesting a potentially synergistic relationship between these two species in the mouse gut as well. We suggest thatE. faecalisandC. albicanspromote a mutually beneficial association with the host, in effect choosing a commensal lifestyle over a pathogenic one.

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