Adaptation to the host

The most common host-associated Candida species is C. albicans. In predisposed hospitalized patients, Candida albicans can translocate from its commensal niche, the intestine, to the bloodstream. This exchange of a commensal environment to an environment where C. albicans causes systemic disease is paired with a sudden exposure to host serum proteins and the inflammatory response. Similarly, C. albicans can cause infections at mucosal surfaces, which are associated with changes in physiology and particularly initiation of inflammation. The research group, therefore, studies how the encounter of host immune mediators and serum proteins drives fungal adaptations that permit survival in the host and immune evasion or escape.


Axel Dietschmann
Sude Dinçer
Candela Fernández-Fernández
Mark Gresnigt
Sophia Hitzler
Dolly Estella Montaño Espinosa


Jaeger M, Dietschmann A, Austermeier S, Dinçer S, Porschitz P, Vornholz L, Maas RJA, Sprenkeler EGG, Ruland J, Wirtz S, Azam T, Joosten LAB, Hube B, Netea MG, Dinarello CA, Gresnigt MS (2024) Alpha1-antitrypsin impacts innate host-pathogen interactions with Candida albicans by stimulating fungal filamentation. Virulence 15(1), 2333367.
Austermeier S, Pekmezović M, Porschitz P, Lee S, Kichik N, Moyes DL, Ho J, Kotowicz NK, Naglik JR, Hube B, Gresnigt MS (2021) Albumin neutralizes hydrophobic toxins and modulates Candida albicans pathogenicity. mBio 12(3), e0053121.
d'Enfert C, Kaune AK, Alaban LR, Chakraborty S, Cole N, Delavy M, Kosmala D, Marsaux B, Fróis-Martins R, Morelli M, Rosati D, Valentine M, Xie Z, Emritloll Y, Warn PA, Bequet F, Bougnoux ME, Bornes S, Gresnigt MS, Hube B, Jacobsen ID, Legrand M, Leibundgut-Landmann S, Manichanh C, Munro CA, Netea MG, Queiroz K, Roget K, Thomas V, Thoral C, Van den Abbeele P, Walker AW, Brown AJP (2021) The impact of the Fungus-Host-Microbiota interplay upon Candida albicans infections: current knowledge and new perspectives. FEMS Microbiol Rev 45(3), fuaa060. (Review)
Last A, Maurer M, Mosig AS, Gresnigt MS, Hube B (2021) In vitro infection models to study fungal-host interactions. FEMS Microbiol Rev 45(5), fuab005. (Review)
Pekmezovic M, Kaune AK, Austermeier S, Hitzler SUJ, Mogavero S, Hovhannisyan H, Gabaldón T, Gresnigt MS, Hube B (2021) Human albumin enhances the pathogenic potential of Candida glabrata on vaginal epithelial cells. PLOS Pathog 17(10), e1010037.
Austermeier S, Kasper L, Westman J, Gresnigt MS (2020) I want to break free - macrophage strategies to recognize and kill Candida albicans, and fungal counter-strategies to escape. Curr Opin Microbiol 58, 15-23. (Review)
Kumamoto CA, Gresnigt MS, Hube B (2020) The gut, the bad and the harmless: Candida Albicans as a commensal and opportunistic pathogen in the intestine. Curr Opin Microbiol 56, 7-15. (Review)