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Med Mycol. 2007 Jun;45(4):363-70.

Candida albicans Als proteins mediate aggregation with bacteria and yeasts.

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  • 1University of Arizona and Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Tucson, Arizona, USA.


Candida albicans occupies a microniche on mucosal surfaces where diverse microbial populations interact within a biofilm. Because C. albicans is intimately involved with other microbes in this environment we studied the interactions of C. albicans with other fungi and bacteria that form mixed microbial aggregates. Once aggregation is initiated, aggregates form rapidly and incorporate fungal as well as bacterial cells. The fungus formed mixed microbial aggregates with homotypic cells (i.e., self to self, e.g., C. albicans or Als1p-expressing yeast cells aggregating with cells bearing Als1p); with heterotypic cells (i.e., self to non-self, e.g., C. albicans or Alsp-expressing yeast cells aggregating with other Candida species); and with xenotypic cells (e.g., C. albicans or Alsp-expressing yeast cells forming aggregates with bacteria). When either of the C. albicans adhesins Als1p or Als5p was displayed on the surface of non-adherent Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, the S. cerevisiae also mediated these mixed microbial interactions. Thus the Als adhesins are potentially important for the co-adhesion of mixed microbial communities in biofilms and on mucus surfaces.

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