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Candida: Attacking its Cell Wall, Preventing Biofilm Formation, Blocking Host Adhesion, & More



Candida albicans is commonly found in various parts of the human body and is considered a normal part of the microbiota. However, under certain circumstances, it can overgrow and lead to disease in various systems of the body. Before discussing eradication strategies, let's first provide a general overview of candidiasis and its manifestations.


Candidiasis: An Overview

Candidiasis is a fungal infection which can be caused by Candida albicans, the most common species associated with these infections. This yeast is typically found in the skin, mouth, gut, and female genital tract, living in harmony with other microorganisms. However, an overgrowth of Candida albicans can disrupt this balance, leading to various symptoms and related conditions.


Symptoms and Indicators of Candida Overgrowth

Candida overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract can manifest in several ways. Common signs include persistent digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Fatigue, recurrent yeast infections in the genital areas, and oral thrush are also prevalent. Furthermore, individuals may experience brain fog, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, skin and nail infections, and intense sugar cravings. To evaluate Candida albicans within the gastrointestinal tract, a stool microbiome test, such as the Genova GI Effects stool test, can be utilized.


The Metabolic Pathways of Candida albicans: What Fuels the Candida?

Candida albicans displays metabolic flexibility, allowing it to thrive in diverse environments and use various carbon sources as fuel. Glucose, fructose, and galactose are among the preferred carbon sources for the fungus, with glucose being particularly significant as it enables Candida albicans to adapt and survive under challenging nutritional and stressful conditions.


Candida's Cell Wall Contributes to its Pathogenicity

Unlike human or animal cells, fungal cells, including Candida albicans, possess a cell wall that enhances their pathogenicity. The cell wall is composed of β-glucan, chitin, and mannoproteins, and its structural composition can vary based on the cellular environment. And, attached to their cell wall are moonlighting proteins such as GAPDH, which enhance the Candida cells' ability to adhere to surfaces, thus paving the way for colonization and increased pathogenicity.


The Yeast to Hyphal Transition: Another Contributor to Pathogenicity

Candida albicans can transition from a yeast to a filamentous, hyphal form, which is associated with increased pathogenicity.



Eradication Strategies


To effectively combat candida overgrowth, it is essential to understand the mechanisms that protect Candida albicans or contribute to its pathogenicity. We explored several of these above, but we will now categorize the eradication strategies below according to the specific mechanism targeted.


1. Damaging Candida's Cell Wall:

Nurturing the gut with beneficial strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus species, can lead to the secretion of enzymes that degrade components of the C. albicans cell wall. Echinocandin antifungal medications and caprylic acid, found in coconut oil, are also effective in disrupting the cell wall.


2. Blocking Fungal Cell Adhesion:

Supporting beneficial gut microbes can limit candida's ability to bind to the gut lining, while rosemary and the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 can inhibit its attachment to surfaces and other cells as well.


3. Blocking Biofilm Formation or Destroying Already Formed Biofilms:

Short-chain fatty acids produced by gut bacteria, along with natural compounds like carvacrol and thymol found in oregano, effectively inhibit the development of Candida biofilms.


4. Blocking the Yeast to Hyphal Transition:

Short-chain fatty acids, particularly butyrate, can hinder the yeast-hyphal transition, thereby reducing pathogenicity.


5. Blocking Key Pathways for Candida albicans Cellular Proliferation or Metabolism:

Azole antifungal medications, Chinese skullcap, garlic-derived allicin, and a low-sugar diet are strategies aimed at interfering with candida's basic metabolic pathways.


6. Enhancing Our Own Anti-Fungal Immune Activity:

Butyrate, produced by beneficial gut microbes, enhances the antifungal activity of macrophages, bolstering the host immune response against C. albicans.



Conclusion:

Understanding the metabolic pathways and unique characteristics of Candida albicans is crucial for developing effective eradication strategies. By targeting specific mechanisms that contribute to candida's pathogenicity, we can better combat candida overgrowth and its detrimental effects on the body. A holistic approach that combines dietary modifications, beneficial microbial support, and targeted antimicrobial compounds may help pave the way for successful management of candidiasis and improved overall health.


Sources:


Pellon, A., Begum, N., Sadeghi Nasab, S. D., Harzandi, A., Shoaie, S., & Moyes, D. L. (2022). Role of Cellular Metabolism during Candida-Host Interactions. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11(2), 184. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11020184


Zeise, K. D., Woods, R. J., & Huffnagle, G. B. (2021). Interplay between Candida albicans and Lactic Acid Bacteria in the Gastrointestinal Tract: Impact on Colonization Resistance, Microbial Carriage, Opportunistic Infection, and Host Immunity. Clinical microbiology reviews, 34(4), e0032320. https://doi.org/10.1128/CMR.00323-20


Chow, E. W. L., Pang, L. M., & Wang, Y. (2021). From Jekyll to Hyde: The Yeast-Hyphal Transition of Candida albicans. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(7), 859. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10070859


de Oliveira Santos, G. C., Vasconcelos, C. C., Lopes, A. J. O., de Sousa Cartágenes, M. D. S., Filho, A. K. D. B., do Nascimento, F. R. F., Ramos, R. M., Pires, E. R. R. B., de Andrade, M. S., Rocha, F. M. G., & de Andrade Monteiro, C. (2018). Candida Infections and Therapeutic Strategies: Mechanisms of Action for Traditional and Alternative Agents. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 1351. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01351


Soliman, S., Alnajdy, D., El-Keblawy, A. A., Mosa, K. A., Khoder, G., & Noreddin, A. M. (2017). Plants' Natural Products as Alternative Promising Anti-Candida Drugs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 11(22), 104–122. https://doi.org/10.4103/phrev.phrev_8_17


1件のコメント


Wow!! That is a ton of great information!! I don’t think we take candida seriously enough!

いいね!
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