Candida glabrata Binding to Candida albicans Hyphae Enables Its Development in Oropharyngeal Candidiasis

Swetha Tati, Peter Davidow, Andrew McCall, Elizabeth Hwang-Wong, Isolde G. Rojas, Brendan Cormack, Mira Edgerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Pathogenic mechanisms of Candida glabrata in oral candidiasis, especially because of its inability to form hyphae, are understudied. Since both Candida albicans and C. glabrata are frequently co-isolated in oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC), we examined their co-adhesion in vitro and observed adhesion of C. glabrata only to C. albicans hyphae microscopically. Mice were infected sublingually with C. albicans or C. glabrata individually, or with both species concurrently, to study their ability to cause OPC. Infection with C. glabrata alone resulted in negligible infection of tongues; however, colonization by C. glabrata was increased by co-infection or a pre-established infection with C. albicans. Furthermore, C. glabrata required C. albicans for colonization of tongues, since decreasing C. albicans burden with fluconazole also reduced C. glabrata. C. albicans hyphal wall adhesins Als1 and Als3 were important for in vitro adhesion of C. glabrata and to establish OPC. C. glabrata cell wall protein coding genes EPA8, EPA19, AWP2, AWP7, and CAGL0F00181 were implicated in mediating adhesion to C. albicans hyphae and remarkably, their expression was induced by incubation with germinated C. albicans. Thus, we found a near essential requirement for the presence of C. albicans for both initial colonization and establishment of OPC infection by C. glabrata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1005522
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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