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How Fungus Evade Immune System Unveiled by Scientists from the University of Aberdeen

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen discovered that the fungus that causes thrush, Candida albicans has the ability to anticipate an attack from the human immune system and alter its surface markings to evade spotting.

Candida albicans are usually harmless to humans but has proven deadly to patients having a weakened immune system. They can develop severe candidiasis like fungal diseases. Candidiasis is a fungal infection that affects around 1,000 people in the UK every year and up to half of the cases proved fatal.

Nature Communications published this first study on this fungus hide from the immune system and the study could lead to the development of new effective therapeutic targets.

The research by Fungal Group in the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Aberdeen was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Dr. Delma Childers, Lecturer at the Medical Sciences of University of Aberdeen said, Although Candida albicans is not a concern in daily life, it can be a severe problem for patients with the vulnerable immune system, therefore its critical to understand how fungus evades the human immune system. The understanding

could help scientists to fight the fungal infection.

The researchers discovered that Candida albicans could sense various signals present in its environment and thereafter ‘camouflage’ its cell surface from immune cells exploiting the immune system. These fungi can foresee the immune attack that is about to happen and respond accordingly.

Professor Alistair Brown from the University of Exeter, who recently relocated from the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, said: “What we found is important. We discovered that Candida is a moving target for our immune defenses, changing its surface and camouflaging itself to hide from these defenses.”

The findings offer the opportunity to develop effective drugs against Candida infection that would help the immune system to detect and eliminate the fungus.


Author : Namitha thampi

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