Pathogenesis ofCandida albicansbiofilm

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Abstract

Candida albicans is the most common human fungal pathogen causing diseases ranging from mucosal to systemic infections. As a commensal, C. albicans asymptomatically colonizes mucosal surfaces; however, any disruption in the host environment or under conditions of immune dysfunction, C. albicans can proliferate and invade virtually any site in the host. The ability of this highly adaptable fungal species to transition from commensal to pathogen is due to a repertoire of virulence factors. Specifically, the ability to switch morphology and form biofilms are properties central to C. albicans pathogenesis. In fact, the majority of C. albicans infections are associated with biofilm formation on host or abiotic surfaces such as indwelling medical devices, which carry high morbidity and mortality. Significantly, biofilms formed by C. albicans are inherently tolerant to antimicrobial therapy and therefore, the susceptibility of Candida biofilms to the current therapeutic agents remains low. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of C. albicans highlighting some of the diverse biofilm-associated diseases caused by this opportunistic pathogen and the animal models available to study them. Further, the classes of antifungal agents used to combat these resilient infections are discussed along with mechanisms of drug resistance.

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