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ISRN Microbiol. 2012 Sep 29;2012:538694. doi: 10.5402/2012/538694. Print 2012.

Candida albicans: A Model Organism for Studying Fungal Pathogens.

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Molecular Genetics Laboratory, School of Biotechnology, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Calicut 673601, Kerala, India.


Candida albicans is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen that causes candidiasis. As healthcare has been improved worldwide, the number of immunocompromised patients has been increased to a greater extent and they are highly susceptible to various pathogenic microbes and C. albicans has been prominent among the fungal pathogens. The complete genome sequence of this pathogen is now available and has been extremely useful for the identification of repertoire of genes present in this pathogen. The major challenge is now to assign the functions to these genes of which 13% are specific to C. albicans. Due to its close relationship with yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an edge over other fungal pathogens because most of the technologies can be directly transferred to C. albicans from S. cerevisiae and it is amenable to mutation, gene disruption, and transformation. The last two decades have witnessed enormous amount of research activities on this pathogen that leads to the understanding of host-parasite interaction, infections, and disease propagation. Clearly, C. albicans has emerged as a model organism for studying fungal pathogens along with other two fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. Understanding its complete life style of C. albicans will undoubtedly be useful for developing potential antifungal drugs and tackling Candida infections. This will also shed light on the functioning of other fungal pathogens.

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