Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virulence Factor That Induces Fatal Candida Infection Identified

Date:
July 21, 2008
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
Singapore scientists found that certain substances from bacteria living in the human intestine cause the normally harmless Candida albicans fungus to become highly infectious. Once in the infectious form, the fungus is able to invade surrounding tissues and escape destruction by the body's own immune cells.

Scientists here have found that certain substances from bacteria living in the human intestine cause the normally harmless Candida albicans fungus to become highly infectious.

This discovery by researchers at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)'s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) could possibly lead to the development of novel treatments for immunocompromised patients infected by the fungus.

The team of scientists, led by Associate Professor Wang Yue, a principal investigator at the IMCB, identified peptidoglycan (PGN) -- a carbohydrate from bacteria -- as a factor responsible for causing the conversion of the otherwise harmless C. albicans to its infectious form.

Once in the infectious form, the fungus is able to invade surrounding tissues and escape destruction by the body's own immune cells. Since immunocompromised patients such as those with AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment are extremely susceptible to fungal-induced systemic infections, this finding offers an important clue to the basis of C. albicans infections.

After confirming the presence of PGN-derived molecules in human blood, the researchers discovered that the fungus is able to "sense" the presence of the same molecules, which are produced in abundance by bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal track. Earlier studies suggested that PGNs can enter the blood stream through the intestinal wall.

When direct binding of the PGN-derived molecules to a specific protein in C. albicans takes place, it triggers interactions and "sensing" processes that induce the fungus to start growing long, threadlike tubes called hyphae, hence signifying its conversion to the virulent, life-threatening form.

This is the first time that the identities of the "inducer" and that of its "sensor" in C. albicans have been clearly established.

Said Wang, who has been working on C. albicans for more than eight years, "It has been more than 50 years since human blood was first found to contain molecules that can strongly induce C. albicans infection. In spite of efforts by many laboratories worldwide, the identity of the 'inducer' remained elusive.

Thus, we are very excited about being able to help solve this long-held mystery. Finding the PGN sensor in C. albicans is also of great importance, because we can now develop anti-Candida therapies by blocking the sensory mechanism."

According to UNAIDS statistics, the AIDS pandemic claimed an estimated 2.1 million lives in 2007 alone. The latest findings by the Singapore researchers may provide insight for the development of potential anti-Candida therapy in patients suffering from fungal-induced systemic infections.

Previous research breakthroughs by the IMCB team included the discovery of the gene involved in triggering the infectious form of C. albicans, as well as the way in which the gene and its by-products facilitated the transformation process of the fungus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bacterial Peptidoglycan triggers Candida albicans hyphal growth by directly activating the adenylyl cyclase Cyr1p. Cell Host & Microbe, July 17, 2008

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Virulence Factor That Induces Fatal Candida Infection Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717101104.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2008, July 21). Virulence Factor That Induces Fatal Candida Infection Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717101104.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Virulence Factor That Induces Fatal Candida Infection Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717101104.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins