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Title: Impact of host carbon sources in the pathobiology of Candida albicans
Author: Ene, Iuliana V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 1569
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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Candida albicans is the most common systemic fungal pathogen of humans. Virulence factors, fitness attributes and the host immunity ultimately determine the ability of C. albicans to reside as a commensal organism or an opportunistic pathogen in its human host. C. albicans displays a high level of flexibility in adapting to and infecting diverse niches in its human host. Generally occupying glucose-poor niches, C. albicans often depends upon alternative carbon sources to grow and establish infections. However, most cellular and molecular investigations of this pathogen have been performed on glucose-grown cells, and the relationship between physiological nutrients and drug resistance or virulence has not been studied. The main objective of this thesis was to study the effects of host carbon sources upon C. albicans cell biology and how this in turn affects the stress and drug resistance, immune recognition and virulence of this fungus. Growth on this physiologically relevant alternative carbon source was shown to influence the cell wall architecture of C. albicans and alter its resistance to a variety of stresses and antifungal drugs. Differences in stress resistance were less dependent on the key stress signalling pathways than on major architectural changes in the C. albicans cell wall that influenced its biochemical and biophysical properties. It was also shown that carbon source has a major impact upon C. albicans pathogenicity, altering cell adhesion and host virulence, in both systemic and vaginal infections. Considering the different niches that Candida can colonise in the body, these findings have the potential to change our views about the interactions that occur between the fungus and its human host. Taken together, the results of this project demonstrate that differential nutrient availability within diverse host niches influences the ability of pathogenic Candida species to counteract local chemical insults and pharmacological interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Candida Albicans