Targeting Candida albicans filamentation for antifungal drug development

Virulence. 2017 Feb 17;8(2):150-158. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2016.1197444. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


Candida albicans remains the main etiological agent of candidiasis, as this otherwise normal commensal of humans is capable of causing active infection in immune- and medically-compromised patients. The high morbidity and mortality rates associated with candidiasis, coupled with the emergence of drug resistance demand the development of novel therapeutic strategies. However, there is a paucity of selective targets that can be exploited in the development of new antifungals. Contrary to conventional antibiotics that kill or curtail growth, specifically targeting virulence mechanisms represents an attractive option for antifungal drug development. In C. albicans, a growing body of research over the last few decades has provided important insights into its virulence factors and their contribution to the pathogenesis of candidiasis. Of these, filamentation is the one that has received the most attention and perhaps shows the most promise as a target for new anti-virulence strategies to combat C. albicans infections.

Keywords: Candida albicans; anti-virulence therapeutics; candidiasis; filamentation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity*
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis / immunology
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hyphae / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Virulence Factors