International Microbiology, Vol 1, No 2 (1998)

The cell wall structure: developments in diagnosis and treatment of candidiasis

Antonio Marcilla, Eulogio Valentín, Rafael Sentandreu


Candidiasis are among the fungal infections the most difficult to diagnose and treat. Research focused on specific fungal components which are absent in the host, such as the cell wall has lead to a better understanding of Candida albicans pathogenicity and clinical impact. The cell wall is responsible for antigenic expression and primary interaction with the host. It is composed mainly of β-glucans, chitin and mannoproteins, which account for the rigidity of the wall and for the fungal morphology. Of these components, mannoproteins might carry a “morphogenetic code” which might modulate the molecular architecture of the cell wall. The features of specific cell wall proteins as part of building blocks to form this structure is revised, and the usefulness of monoclonal antibodies obtained against cell wall components to study those processes, together with their clinical applicability, is discussed.

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