About this Research Topic
Biofilm formation is an important factor of Candida pathogenesis. The ability to form complex biofilm structures has been attributed mainly to Candida albicans, followed by Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis and Candida parapsilosis. Although the structure and composition of biofilms can vary among species, in general Candida biofilms have the same developmental phases, including adhesion, maturation and dispersal coordinated by a complex regulatory network. Besides acting as a reservoir for Candida cells, biofilms provide protection from the host immune defenses by multiple evasion mechanisms, such as the presence of glucans in the extracellular matrix that inhibits neutrophil activation.
These characteristics enhance the pathogenicity of Candida species and result in several clinical implications. Candida spp. can form biofilms on mucosal surfaces causing oropharyngeal and vulvovaginal candidiasis, as well as on implanted medical devices leading to systemic infections. Since there are differences between biofilms formed on mucosal and abiotic cells, it becames necessary to have in vitro and in vivo models that can mimic these processes. In this context, new tools to analyze Candida biofilms have arised, including genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomics approaches and a wide variety of animal models.
Despite technological advances, few antifungal therapies were developed in the last decades and the treatment of Candida biofilms remains a challenge. Candida biofilms are inherently resistant to currently available antifungal drugs due to the upregulation of efflux pumps, the protective features of the extraceluar matrix and the existence of persister cells, which are dormant phenotypic variants with extreme tolerance to antifungal drugs. Candida cells can also form polymicrobial biofilms with bacterial species where the symbiotic interactions may result in enhancing of virulence mechanisms and resistance to antimicrobial therapies. Moreover, a new antifungal-resistant species, Candida auris, has recently emerged as a nosocomial pathogen, showing an alarming ability to tolerate environmental stress, develop multidrug resistance and persistently colonize the human hosts and hospital environments.
In this Research Topic, we aim to put together a collection of articles that can contribute to our understanding of Candida biofilms at the morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular levels. We welcome studies that explore the complexicity of host-pathogen interactions, pathogenicity, and resistance mechanisms. Also, we plan encourage submissions with current insights and perspectives for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the control of Candida biofilms.
We particularly welcome manuscripts on following themes:
1) Unraveling the structure and regulatory networks that control biofilm formation
2) How the growth of Candida cells in biofilms affects interactions with the host immune defense?
3) Pathogenesis and clinical relevance of Candida biofilms, subtopics:
- Vulvovaginal candidiasis
- Oral candidiasis
- Invasive candidiasis
4) New tools to study Candida biofilms: in vitro and in vivo models
5) Mechanisms of Candida biofilms involved in antifungal resistance and persistent colonization
6) The complex interactions between Candida albicans and other species in polymicrobial biofilms
7) Emergence of Candida auris as a new global fungal pathogen
8) Developing novel therapeutics to treat Candida biofilms, subtopics:
- Antifungal compounds
- Biomaterials for antifungal drug delivery
- Photodynamic therapy
Keywords: Candida Spp., Biofilms, Pathogenicity, Host Pathogen-Interaction, Antifungal Resistance
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.