Candida albicans is normally a harmless commensal of human beings, but it can cause superficial infections of the mucosa (oral/vaginal thrush) in healthy individuals and (rarely) infections of the skin or nails. It can also become invasive, causing life-threatening systemic and bloodstream infections in immunocompromised hosts, where the mortality rate can be as high as 50 %. It is the most common cause of serious fungal infection and is a common cause of nosocomial infections in hospitals. Some strains have been recognized that are resistant to azoles or echinocandins, which are the first-line antifungals for treatment of C. albicans infections.
Bibliographical noteFunding information
The authors received funding support from Wellcome Trust (086827, 075470, 101873 and 200208) and the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology (N006364/1).
We thank Prashant Sood for help with the graphical abstract figure.
- immune response
- drug resistance
- candida albicans
- medical mycology