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Morphology Changes in Human Fungal Pathogens upon Interaction with the Host

Department of Microbiology and Immunity, Medical School, University of Minnesota, 689 23rd Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Pediatric Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040066
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
Morphological changes are a very common and effective strategy for pathogens to survive in the mammalian host. During interactions with their host, human pathogenic fungi undergo an array of morphological changes that are tightly associated with virulence. Candida albicans switches between yeast cells and hyphae during infection. Thermally dimorphic pathogens, such as Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces species transform from hyphal growth to yeast cells in response to host stimuli. Coccidioides and Pneumocystis species produce spherules and cysts, respectively, which allow for the production of offspring in a protected environment. Finally, Cryptococcus species suppress hyphal growth and instead produce an array of yeast cells—from large polyploid titan cells to micro cells. While the morphology changes produced by human fungal pathogens are diverse, they all allow for the pathogens to evade, manipulate, and overcome host immune defenses to cause disease. In this review, we summarize the morphology changes in human fungal pathogens—focusing on morphological features, stimuli, and mechanisms of formation in the host. View Full-Text
Keywords: human fungal pathogen; morphology change; host-pathogen interaction; titan cell; spherules; hyphae human fungal pathogen; morphology change; host-pathogen interaction; titan cell; spherules; hyphae
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Li, Z.; Nielsen, K. Morphology Changes in Human Fungal Pathogens upon Interaction with the Host. J. Fungi 2017, 3, 66.

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