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Lectures & Seminars

15.02.2017 18:00 - 19:00 o'clock

MiCoCo Stars: From commensalism to pathogenicity: stages of Candida spp. Infections

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hube, Department Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute Jena, Germany


Fungal cells interact with their hosts by establishing symbiotic, commensal or pathogenic relationships. Symbiotic interactions of fungi with plants are extremely common. In contrast, only a few hundred fungal species can infect humans and only certain fungal species, such as the yeast Candida albicans, have adapted to endogenous life within the human host, co-existing with the microbiota, without necessarily causing disease. However, subtle alterations in the relationship between this fungus and its host can trigger the transition from commensalism to a pathogenic phase.

This transition includes direct attachment to, invasion into, and damage of epithelial cells. Adhesion to host epithelial cells is mediated by surface proteins. Fungal?host surface contact during attachment can induce the production of hyphae and expression of hyphae-specific genes, which, in turn, drive further adhesion. Hyphae are not only more adhesive, but also more invasive than yeast cells. Invasion occurs via two different routes: induced endocytosis or active penetration. Most of the tissue damage is due to deep and destructive inter-epithelial invasion via elongated hyphae, along with the release of destructive factors. In fact, C. albicans secretes a peptide toxin, Candidalysin, which is predominantly responsible for epithelial damage.

In my talk, I will discuss aspects of fungal pathogenicity, with C. albicans as a model fungal pathogen. I will present examples of each of the pathogenic stages, from initial attachment and invasion, to damage, dissemination and interactions with the host immunity.

Date: February 15, 2017

Time: 6 pm

Location: Lecture Hall Erbertstraße (Großer Hörsaal)

All interested are cordially invited!

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