The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans is a normal part of the microflora in the gastrointestinal tract, mouth and genital tract. It causes not only superficial infections, but also life-threatening disease in individuals with immune system defects. With the growth of the immunocompromised patient population due to the prevalence of AIDS and advanced technologies of medical therapies, fungal infections caused by Candida species have dramatically increased over the past decades. Great progresses have been made in exploring the biological and pathogenic features of C. albicanssince the publication of the complete genome sequence of SC5314, a laboratory strain of C. albicans in 2000. The availability of the genome sequence has accelerated the biological study of C. albicans and marks the advent of the post-genome era. Moreover, new techniques, such as RNA-Seq, ChIP-chip, and proteomics were developed to generate valuable large-scale resources to systematically study the function of C. albicans genes.
The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, morphogenesis and other aspects in C. albicans and related species will not only benefit the discovery of potential antifungal targets and the development of novel drugs, but also provide a model system for the study of other human fungal pathogens. The Candida research community is growing fast. The collaboration among laboratories with different backgrounds is becoming more important than ever to explore the biological complexity of C. albicans. The good thing is that many genomic and functional genomic analysis tools have been adapted to study the genomic features and the roles of C. albicans genes. These new techniques will make this pathogenic organism more tractable for the future study.
Last date updated on July, 2014