Antigenic Targets of Candida albicans Specific Antibody Fragments. Collaboration with Dr. Joseph Bliss (Lead PI), Women & Infants Hospital Funding: Science and Technology Advisory Council of Rhode Island (STAC)
Description: Candida albicans is an important pathogen of the premature infant. This organism is the most common fungal pathogen causing invasive disease among immunocompromised patients, and the third most common cause of sepsis in premature neonates after the first 3 days of life. Despite advances in neonatal intensive care and the availability of antifungal drug therapies, these infections carry an unacceptably high cost in terms of morbidity and mortality. Many aspects of immune function in premature infants have been explored, and although all components of the immune system are present, they function in a variably effective manner.
C. albicans exists in both a spherical (yeast) and filamentous (hyphal) form, and both forms have been associated with virulence. The cell surface of C. albicans is a complex structure composed of structural polysaccharides (.-glucan, chitin), glycoproteins, and glycolipids. The fungal cell wall is an important factor in pathogenesis. The objective of this project is to identify the antigenic structures of the C. albicans cell wall.