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.