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Candida albicans, a major human fungal pathogen.

Summary of "Candida albicans, a major human fungal pathogen."

Candida albicans is the most common human fungal pathogen (Beck-Sague and Jarvis, 1993). It is normally a harmless commensal organism. However, it is a opportunistic pathogen for some immunologically weak and immunocompromised people. It is responsible for painful mucosal infections such as the vaginitis in women and oral-pharangeal thrush in AIDS patients. In certain groups of vulnerable patients it causes severe, life-threatening bloodstream infections and it causes severe, life-threatening bloodstream infections and subsequent infections in the internal organs. There are various fascinating features of the C. albicans life cycle and biology that have made the pathogen the subject of extensive research, including its ability to grow in unicellular yeast, psudohyphal, and hyphal forms (Fig. 1A); its ability to switch between different but stable phenotypic states, and the way that it retains the ability to mate but apparently loses the ability to go through meiosis to complete the sexual cycle. This research has been greatly facilitated by the derivation of the complete C. albicans genome sequence (Braun et al., 2005), the development of a variety of molecular tools for gene manipulation, and a store of underpinning knowledge of cell biology borrowed from the distantly related model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Berman and Sudbery, 2002; Noble and Johnson, 2007). This review will provide a brief overview of the importance of C. albicans as a public health issue, the experimental tools developed to study its fascinating biology, and some examples of how these have been applied.

Affiliation

Laboratory of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul, 136-701, Republic of Korea, joonkim@korea.ac.kr.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of microbiology (Seoul, Korea)
ISSN: 1976-3794
Pages: 171-7

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

An important nosocomial fungal infection with species of the genus CANDIDA, most frequently CANDIDA ALBICANS. Invasive candidiasis occurs when candidiasis goes beyond a superficial infection and manifests as CANDIDEMIA, deep tissue infection, or disseminated disease with deep organ involvement.

Infection with a fungus of the genus CANDIDA. It is usually a superficial infection of the moist areas of the body and is generally caused by CANDIDA ALBICANS. (Dorland, 27th ed)

A unicellular budding fungus which is the principal pathogenic species causing CANDIDIASIS (moniliasis).

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An inflammatory reaction involving the folds of the skin surrounding the fingernail. It is characterized by acute or chronic purulent, tender, and painful swellings of the tissues around the nail, caused by an abscess of the nail fold. The pathogenic yeast causing paronychia is most frequently Candida albicans. Saprophytic fungi may also be involved. The causative bacteria are usually Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or Streptococcus. (Andrews' Diseases of the Skin, 8th ed, p271)

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