DGHM Paper of the month

| by Mark Gresnigt

Our paper with MPM on how albumin activates Candida glabrata pathogenicity is paper of the month of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM).

The opportunistic yeast Candida glabrata is the second most common type of Candida that causes infections in humans. Amazingly, it is almost avirulent in most in vitro and in vivo models of infection. Our work shows that the addition of a single human host protein, albumin, is sufficient to dramatically increase the pathogenicity of the fungus in vitro. The fact that this only happens with human but not with mouse albumin could explain why C. glabrata is hardly virulent in mouse models.
The work thus contains a message that goes far beyond medical mycology: the presence or absence of certain host-specific factors in in vitro infection models may decide whether or not a realistic insight into infection biology is obtained.