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J Med Vet Mycol. 1992;30(6):461-9.

Contact sensing in Candida albicans: a possible aid to epithelial penetration.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, UK.


Hyphal development in the dimorphic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans is thought to facilitate the primary invasion of surface epithelia during superficial infections. When mycelia were grown on Nuclepore membrane filters that were placed over serum-containing agar, the hyphae grew over the membrane surface and through the pores thereby crossing to the other side of the membrane. Hyphae that did not contact the lip of a pore did not enter it. The response was likely to be due to contact guidance (thigmotropism) and not chemotropism towards the nutrients since hyphae growing on the underside of the membrane also entered the pores then grew away from the underlying nutrient agar. The response therefore seems to be due to sensation of the substrate topography, and tropic movement in relation to changes in contour. This behaviour may enable the hyphae to penetrate epithelia at microscopic wound sites, membrane invaginations and other foci where the integrity of the epithelium is weak.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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