Pathogenicity mechanisms at the mucosal interphase
In the healthy host, certain Candida species live as harmless commensals on mucosal surfaces like the oral, vaginal or intestinal mucosa. Under predisposing conditions, these Candida species growing on the oral or vaginal mucosa can cause tissue damage associated with induction of inflammation, immunopathology, and disease that significantly impacts quality of life.
When immune defense and microbiota are compromised in hospitalized patients or when the intestinal barrier is disturbed, fungal populations of the intestinal tract can invade the intestinal epithelial barrier and translocate into the bloodstream. From here, the fungus can infect virtually all organs and cause systemic fungal infection. Our aim is to elucidate which fungal and host factors mechanistically allow fungal adhesion to, invasion into, and damage of epithelial cells as well as translocation through intestinal barriers and invasion of host tissues.
To unravel host-pathogen interactions at the epithelial interface for C. albicans, but also C. glabrata and the newly emerged, multidrug-resistant species C. auris we are using in vitro infection models, genome-wide dual-species transcription profiling techniques, and fungal gene deletion strains.
(2021) Candida albicans colonization of the gastrointestinal tract: A double-edged sword. PLoS Pathog [Accepted]
(2021) Albumin neutralizes hydrophobic toxins and modulates Candida albicans pathogenicity. mBio 12(13), e0053121.
(2021) In vitro infection models to study fungal-host interactions. FEMS Microbiol Rev [Epub ahead of print]
(2021) Candida pathogens induce protective mitochondria-associated type I interferon signalling and a damage-driven response in vaginal epithelial cells. Nat Microbiol 6(5), 643-657.
(2021) Polyhydroxyalkanoate/Antifungal polyene formulations with monomeric hydroxyalkanoic acids for improved antifungal efficiency. Antibiotics (Basel) 10(6), 737.
(2020) The impact of the Fungus-Host-Microbiota interplay upon Candida albicans infections: current knowledge and new perspectives. FEMS Microbiol Rev , fuaa060. (Review)
(2020) Candidalysin is a potent trigger of alarmin and antimicrobial peptide release in epithelial cells. Cells 9(3), 699.
(2020) Ahr1 and Tup1 contribute to the transcriptional control of virulence-associated genes in Candida albicans. mBio 11(2), e00206-20.
(2019) Recent trends in molecular diagnostics of yeast infections: from PCR to NGS. FEMS Microbiol Rev 43(5), 517-547. (Review)
(2019) Human anti-fungal Th17 immunity and pathology rely on cross-reactivity against Candida albicans. Cell 176(6), 1340-1355.
(2019) Cooperative role of MAPK pathways in the interaction of Candida albicans with the host Epithelium. Microorganisms 8(1), 48.
(2019) Candidalysin activates innate epithelial immune responses via epidermal growth factor receptor. Nat Commun 10(1), 2297.
(2019) Effects of histatin 5 modifications on antifungal activity and kinetics of proteolysis. Protein Sci 29(2), 480-493.
(2019) RNAi as a tool to study virulence in the pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata. Front Microbiol 10, 1679.
(2019) Candidalysin: Discovery and function in Candida albicans infections. Curr Opin Microbiol 52, 100-109. (Review)
(2019) Host-pathogen interactions during female genital tract infections. Trends Microbiol 27(12), 982-996. (Review)
(2019) Candidalysin is required for neutrophil recruitment and virulence during systemic Candida albicans infection. J Infect Dis 220(9), 1477-1488.
(2018) Candida albicans-induced epithelial damage mediates translocation through intestinal barriers. mBio 9(3), e00915.
(2018) Two's company: studying interspecies relationships with dual RNA-seq. Curr Opin Microbiol 42, 7-12. (Review)
(2017) Encapsulation of antifungals in micelles protects Candida albicans during gall-bladder infection. Front Microbiol 8, 117.
(2017) Fungi that infect humans. Microbiol Spectr 5(3), FUNK-0014-2016. (Review)
(2017) The Snf1-activating kinase Sak1 is a key regulator of metabolic adaptation and in vivo fitness of Candida albicans. Mol Microbiol 104(6), 989-1007.
(2017) Oral epithelial cells orchestrate innate type 17 responses to Candida albicans through the virulence factor candidalysin. Sci Immunol 2(17), eaam8834.
(2016) Dual-species transcriptional profiling during systemic candidiasis reveals organ-specific host-pathogen interactions. Sci Rep 6, 36055.
(2016) Effects of the glucocorticoid betamethasone on the interaction of Candida albicans with human epithelial cells. Microbiology 162(12), 2116-2125.
(2015) Secretory aspartyl proteinases cause vaginitis and can mediate vaginitis caused by Candida albicans in mice. MBio 6(3), e00724.
(2012) Importance of the Candida albicans cell wall during commensalism and infection. Curr Opin Microbiol 15(4), 406-412. (Review)
(2012) Candida albicans-epithelial interactions: dissecting the roles of active penetration, induced endocytosis and host factors on the infection process. PLOS One 7(5), e36952.
(2010) Cellular interactions of Candida albicans with human oral epithelial cells and enterocytes. Cell Microbiol 12(2), 248-271.
(2009) Identifying infection-associated genes of Candida albicans in the postgenomic era. FEMS Yeast Res 9(5), 688-700. (Review)
(2004) From commensal to pathogen: stage- and tissue-specific gene expression of Candida albicans. Curr Opin Microbiol 7(4), 336-341. (Review)
Dr. Stefanie Allert
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Dr. Lydia Kasper
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