Candida albicans pathogenicity mechanisms

François L Mayer, Duncan Wilson, Bernhard Hube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1219 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


The polymorphic fungus Candida albicans is a member of the normal human microbiome. In most individuals, C. albicans resides as a lifelong, harmless commensal. Under certain circumstances, however, C. albicans can cause infections that range from superficial infections of the skin to life-threatening systemic infections. Several factors and activities have been identified which contribute to the pathogenic potential of this fungus. Among them are molecules which mediate adhesion to and invasion into host cells, the secretion of hydrolases, the yeast-to-hypha transition, contact sensing and thigmotropism, biofilm formation, phenotypic switching and a range of fitness attributes. Our understanding of when and how these mechanisms and factors contribute to infection has significantly increased during the last years. In addition, novel virulence mechanisms have recently been discovered. In this review we present an update on our current understanding of the pathogenicity mechanisms of this important human pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2013


  • Candida albicans
  • Candidiasis
  • Humans
  • Virulence Factors


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