Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37734535
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.micinf.2023.105230
Microbes Infect 2023 Sep; (): 105230
The Candida albicans population displays high genetic diversity illustrated by 18-well differentiated genetic clusters. Cluster 13, also known as Candida africana, is an outlying cluster and includes strains first described as atypical C. albicans isolates of vaginal origin, showing apparent tropism for the female genital tract. In our study, we combined in vitro, and in vivo models to explore the colonization and pathogenic potential of C. africana. We report that C. africana has similar fitness to C. albicans when it comes to colonization of the oral and vaginal mucosa, however it has decreased fitness in gastro-intestinal colonization and systemic infection. Interestingly, despite high population homogeneity, our in vitro data highlighted for the first time a variability in terms of growth rate, biofilm formation and filamentation properties between C. africana strains. Overall, our data lays the foundations for exploring specific features of C. africana that might contribute to its apparent niche restriction.