Date of Award

5-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

John Coleman

Abstract

Scientists are considering two factors that may be important in the pathogenesis of C. albicans', it's capability to morph from yeast to hyphal phase, and its differences in colony morphology, cell shape, cell surface and cell permeability. (5) Unfortunately, unlike the bacteria, yeasts do not yet have proven virulence factors. However, science is suggesting that some of the major factors which contribute to the virulence of Candida are its ability to form hyphae, its ability to resist phagocytosis, its ability to adhere to epithelial cell surfaces, its ability to grow well at 37 degrees Celsius, and its ability to secrete acid proteinase. (5) Recent studies are looking into an iC3b receptor that may also influence virulence. (5) Unfortunately, factors like nutritional requirements complicate the virulence determinations. (3) Molecular Koch's postulates are now being considered as a way to study virulence in yeasts. (3) Because of the many problems that arise with C. albicans, scientists are taking steps to increase the development of its genetics. (5)