Virulence Factors and Evasion of the Human Defense System of Fungus

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A dimorphic fungus known as Candida albicans is the highest investigated and most common fungal pathogen in humans, capable of evading the human complement system. It populates the oral and genitourinary cavity surfaces, the digestive tract and triggers an array of infections that are dependent upon the character of latent imperfections in the host. As a former hospital employee that has witnessed firsthand accounts of the increasing degree of such infections, it sparked my curiosity to investigate the reason and manner in which this fungi can achieve such virulence. C. albicans undergoes a parasexual cycle, also known as an alternation of generations, where diploids form tetraploids, only to return once again to a near-diploid state, all without the conventional use of meiosis. The slowly emerging knowledge on various pathways of pathogenicity with this fungus, such as morphological switching, forming biofilms, diploidism, and virulence factors in proteins, will add to devising the creation of fungal resistant medicines. Complement systems in mammals continually act as the primary course of immune defense by default and are present at all locations in the body. They are both inherent and adaptive reactions that cooperate conjunctively to systematically discern, attack and eradicate not only external infectious microorganisms, but also any undesirable material - such as the remains of billions of cells that die via apoptosis or necrosis daily - and immune networks from within. It is a rise in capability of microbial pathogens to resist antibiotics and anti-fungal medicines that remains a crucial component in understanding and treating major infections worldwide, primarily in hospital settings where a patient’s immunity is lo... ... middle of paper ... ...S, Newport G, Thortenson Y, Agabian N, Magee P, Davis R, Scherer S. (2004) The Diploid genome sequence of Candida albicans. PNAS 101(19): 7329-7334 Molero G, Diez-Orejas R, Navarro-Garcia F, Monteoliva L, Pla J, Gil C, Sanchez-Perez M, Nombela C. (1998) Candida albicans: genetics, dimorphism and pathogenicity. Interntl. Mircrobiol. 1: 95-106 Odds F, Bougnoux M-E, Shaw D, Bain J, Davidson A, Diogo D, Jacobsen M, Lecomte M, Li S, Tavanti A, Maiden M, Gow N, d’Enfert C. (2007) Molecular Phylogenetics of Candida albicans. Mol. Biol. 6(6):1041-1052 Zipfel P, Wurzner R, Skerka C. (2007) Complement evasion of pathogens: Common strategies are shared by diverse organisms. Molecular Immunology 44: 3850-3857 Zipfel P, Hallstrom T, Riesbeck K. (2013) Human complement control and complement evasion by pathogenic microbes - Tipping the balance. Molecular Immunology 56: 152-160

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