Antifungal defense of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is mediated by blocking adhesion and nutrient depletion

Daniela Mailaender-Sanchez, Christina Braunsdorf, Christian Grumaz, Christoph Mueller, Stefan Lorenz, Philip Stevens, Jeanette Wagener, Betty Hebecker, Bernhard Hube, Franz Bracher, Kai Sohn, Martin Schaller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Candida albicans is an inhabitant of mucosal surfaces in healthy individuals but also the most common cause of fungal nosocomial blood stream infections, associated with high morbidity and mortality. As such life-threatening infections often disseminate from superficial mucosal infections we aimed to study the use of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) in prevention of mucosal C. albicans infections. Here, we demonstrate that LGG protects oral epithelial tissue from damage caused by C. albicans in our in vitro model of oral candidiasis. Furthermore, we provide insights into the mechanisms behind this protection and dissect direct and indirect effects of LGG on C. albicans pathogenicity. C. albicans viability was not affected by LGG. Instead, transcriptional profiling using RNA-Seq indicated dramatic metabolic reprogramming of C. albicans. Additionally, LGG had a significant impact on major virulence attributes, including adhesion, invasion, and hyphal extension, whose reduction, consequently, prevented epithelial damage. This was accompanied by glucose depletion and repression of ergosterol synthesis, caused by LGG, but also due to blocked adhesion sites. Therefore, LGG protects oral epithelia against C. albicans infection by preventing fungal adhesion, invasion and damage, driven, at least in parts, by metabolic reprogramming due to nutrient limitation caused by LGG.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0184438
Number of pages19
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Data Availability: All relevant data are available from the Gene Expression Omnibus at the following accession number: GSE97755.

Funding: This work was funded by the German Research Council (DFG) Graduation College 685, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A systems approach to the therapy of nosocomial infections caused by Candida albicans: a commensal organism switches to a deadly pathogen/ PTJ (FKZ: 0315409BBMBF), the Dr. Manfred Plempel-foundation, the Dr. Siegried Stettendorf-Foundation, the InfectERA Program (FunComPath; BMBF FKZ 031L0001A), the Integrated Research and Treatment Center for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC) project CanBac (BMBF, FKZ: 01EO1002), and the German Research Council (DFG) GZ:HE7565/1-1. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.




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