Severe wound model of Candida spp. infections

The traumatic wound represents a highly susceptible site for opportunistic colonization and infection by bacteria and fungi. Candida spp. are frequently isolated from single or mixed species wound infections. Typically patients with burn wounds or severe wounds due to surgery or trauma are hospitalized and under continuous care. Even so in certain cases the infections are difficult to manage due to antimicrobial resistance, delayed therapy or compromised immune status of the host, resulting in sepsis. Systemic candididasis as a consequence of thermal injury has a relatively high mortality rate (up to 70%) (Uppuluri et al., PLoS Pathog 2010), yet very little is known about the biology of this process (D’Enfert, Curr Drug Targets 2006). Acidic pH is critical for proper wound healing. Since metabolites produced by the microflora or the host can modulate the pH, it is imperative to determine if pH modulation by C. albicans contributes to the infectious potential of this agent as well as of other associated species. This very innovative project will be tightly coordinated with the expert in this infectious model, Prof. Huebinger from UT Southwestern, USA and other investigators with prior experience in severe soft tissue infections.