Candida albicans and bacterial microbiota interactions in the cecum during recolonization following broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy

Infect Immun. 2012 Oct;80(10):3371-80. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00449-12. Epub 2012 Jul 9.


Candida albicans is a normal member of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract microbiota of healthy humans, but during host immunosuppression or alterations in the bacterial microbiota, C. albicans can disseminate and cause life-threatening illness. The bacterial microbiome of the GI tract, including lactic acid bacteria (LAB), plays a vital role in preventing fungal invasion. However, little is known about the role of C. albicans in shaping the bacterial microbiota during antibiotic recovery. We investigated the fungal burdens in the GI tracts of germfree mice and mice with a disturbed microbiome to demonstrate the role of the microbiota in preventing C. albicans colonization. Histological analysis demonstrated that colonization with C. albicans during antibiotic treatment does not trigger overt inflammation in the murine cecum. Bacterial diversity is reduced long term following cefoperazone treatment, but the presence of C. albicans during antibiotic recovery promoted the recovery of bacterial diversity. Cefoperazone diminishes Bacteroidetes populations long term in the ceca of mice, but the presence of C. albicans during cefoperazone recovery promoted Bacteroidetes population recovery. However, the presence of C. albicans resulted in a long-term reduction in Lactobacillus spp. and promoted Enterococcus faecalis populations. Previous studies have focused on the ability of bacteria to alter C. albicans; this study addresses the ability of C. albicans to alter the bacterial microbiota during nonpathogenic colonization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteroidetes / physiology
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Cecum / microbiology*
  • Cefoperazone / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Inflammation
  • Lactobacillus
  • Metagenome / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cefoperazone