Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


C. albicans is one of the commensal fungi living in the human intestinal tract in a harmless spore form. In its filamentous form, C. albicans becomes invasive and penetrates the human body, which can cause serious health issues. In vitro factors such as change in temperature or pH are known to induce morphology shift in C. albicans. Interestingly, microgravity has been reported to decrease the human immunity and increase gene virulence expression in C. albicans. During sepsis, high levels of estrogen are reported and the risk of candidiasis also increases. Within present work, we tested the effect of microgravity and estrogen on the shift of morphology (spore to filamentous). C. albicans were grown in minimum media for 3 days in presence or absence of 0.1 nM estrogen. In addition, two other groups of C. albicans were subjected to microgravity for 3 days, using a clinostat, in presence or in absence of estrogen. For each condition, 5 random pictures were taken and scored 1 for the presence and 0 for absence of filament. Experiments were conducted in duplicate. Our results show that subjecting C. albicans to microgravity significantly increase the number of filaments compared to control (9.59±2.77 versus 1.68±1.93, P<0.001, unpaired t-test), whereas estrogen did not significantly affect the number of filaments compared to control (2.66±1.61 versus 1.68±1.93, p=0.6, unpaired t-test). Finally, there was no significant effect of estrogen found on the number of filament when C. albicans was exposed to microgravity plus estrogen versus microgravity alone (8.0±2.76 versus 9.59±2.77). In conclusion, we have found that simulated microgravity dramatically increases the number of filaments, and estrogen at 0.1 nM has no effect on the number of filaments in our experimental conditions.