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Keywords:

  • Candida;
  • bacteria;
  • biofilms

Summary

Candida is the most common human fungal pathogen that causes a variety of afflictions from superficial mucosal infections to deep mycoses. Biofilm formation is a major virulence factor of Candida, and more than 300 articles have been published on Candida biofilms over the past two decades. However, most of these data are on monospecies biofilms of Candida, and information on mixed-species Candida biofilms or bacteria–Candida combinations is still scarce. Yet, in nature, the yeast exist in a mixed milieu either in the oral cavity or in other habitats with a multitude of bacteria colonising mucosal surfaces within a shared community. This mini review describes the current knowledge on candidal–candidal or bacterial–candidal interactions in mixed-species biofilms. The underlying mechanisms of these interactions appear to depend on several factors relating to biofilm development, such as species and strains of organisms, nutritional factors, aerobiosis and related environmental factors. Although the fundamental nature of these interactions appears to be commensalism and antagonism, the emerging evidence based on novel molecular, proteomic and imaging tools indicates these biological mechanisms to be far more complex than hitherto recognised. Demystifying the mechanisms underlying the growth and development of mixed-species communities involving Candida will undoubtedly yield useful data for the effective management of microbial infections in general.