Two unlike cousins: Candida albicans and C. glabrata infection strategies

Cell Microbiol. 2013 May;15(5):701-8. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12091. Epub 2013 Jan 14.


Candida albicans and C. glabrata are the two most common pathogenic yeasts of humans, yet they are phylogenetically, genetically and phenotypically very different. In this review, we compare and contrast the strategies of C. albicans and C. glabrata to attach to and invade into the host, obtain nutrients and evade the host immune response. Although their strategies share some basic concepts, they differ greatly in their outcome. While C. albicans follows an aggressive strategy to subvert the host response and to obtain nutrients for its survival, C. glabrata seems to have evolved a strategy which is based on stealth, evasion and persistence, without causing severe damage in murine models. However, both fungi are successful as commensals and as pathogens of humans. Understanding these strategies will help in finding novel ways to fight Candida, and fungal infections in general.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity*
  • Candida glabrata / genetics
  • Candida glabrata / pathogenicity*
  • Candidiasis / genetics*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny