Impact of the Environment upon the Candida albicans Cell Wall and Resultant Effects upon Immune Surveillance

Delma S Childers, Gabriela M Avelar, Judith M Bain, Daniel E Larcombe, Arnab Pradhan, Susan Budge, Helen Heaney, Alistair J P Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


The fungal cell wall is an essential organelle that maintains cellular morphology and protects the fungus from environmental insults. For fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans, it provides a degree of protection against attack by host immune defences. However, the cell wall also presents key epitopes that trigger host immunity and attractive targets for antifungal drugs. Rather than being a rigid shield, it has become clear that the fungal cell wall is an elastic organelle that permits rapid changes in cell volume and the transit of large liposomal particles such as extracellular vesicles. The fungal cell wall is also flexible in that it adapts to local environmental inputs, thereby enhancing the fitness of the fungus in these microenvironments. Recent evidence indicates that this cell wall adaptation affects host-fungus interactions by altering the exposure of major cell wall epitopes that are recognised by innate immune cells. Therefore, we discuss the impact of environmental adaptation upon fungal cell wall structure, and how this affects immune recognition, focussing on C. albicans and drawing parallels with other fungal pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Fungal Cell Wall
Subtitle of host publicationAn Armour and a Weapon for Human Fungal Pathogens
EditorsJean-Paul Latge
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
ISSN (Print)0070-217X

Bibliographical note

This work was funded by a programme grant from the UK Medical Research Council [ MR/M026663/1], and by PhD studentships from the University of Aberdeen to AP, DL. The work was also supported by the Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology (MR/N006364/1) and by the Wellcome Trust [ 097377]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.


  • Candida albicans
  • Cell wall adaptation
  • Cell wall signalling
  • Cell wall structure
  • Host-fungus interactions
  • Immune evasion
  • Candidiasis/immunology
  • Humans
  • Candida albicans/cytology
  • Cell Wall/immunology


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