The role of the FKS1 gene in nosocomial Candida albicans isolates’ virulence and antifungal resistance
Candida albicans is the pathogenic fungus most frequently compromising patients in a hospital setting; its versatility in adapting to a host has enabled it to colonise their digestive tracts, genitourinary tracts and skin. Infection caused by this fungus represents a diagnostic challenge for doctors regarding their patients and represents high costs for health systems. C. albicans represents a diagnostic challenge in clinical practice since it is a commensal microorganism whose transformation into a pathogen remains partly unknown; moreover, its adaptation to a hospital environment poses an additional problem. However, advances in mycological techniques, proteomics for diagnosis and molecular biology can provide diagnostic criteria for a better understanding of this dangerous pathogen threatening the critically ill patients’ lives in hospitals worldwide. This thesis thus describes the atypical pattern of a group of C. albicans nosocomial isolates leading to an association between phenotypical traits concerned with echinocandin tolerance and changes in these microorganisms’ morphology and physiology regarding selective pressure factors in an antifungal-mediated hospital setting. Evaluation by molecular biology, conventional mycology and proteomics’ tools should contribute towards constructing more accurate local epidemiology for decision-making regarding the management and control of hospital infection by this fungus.