Flexible adaptation to the host environment is a critical trait that underpins the success of numerous microbes. The polymorphic fungus Candida albicans has evolved to persist in the numerous challenging niches of the human body. The interaction of C. albicans with a mucosal surface is an essential pre-requisite for fungal colonisation and epitomises the complex interface between microbe and host. C. albicans exhibits numerous adaptations to a healthy host that permit commensal colonisation of mucosal surfaces without provoking an overt immune response that may lead to clearance. Conversely, fungal adaptation to impaired immune fitness at mucosal surfaces enables pathogenic infiltration into underlying tissues, often with devastating consequences. This review will summarise our current understanding of the complex interactions that occur between C. albicans and the mucosal surfaces of the human body.
|Accepted/In press - 15 Apr 2019