Arts and Sciences
Candida albicans is a commensal yeast that lives within the human body. When exposed to specific environmental stimuli (ex. pH, temperature) the fungi will undergo a morphological change from yeast to filamentous (hyphal). Currently, C. albicans is the most prevalent human fungal pathogen, causing both mucosal and systemic infections. This infection, called candidiasis, can endanger high-risk groups, such as immunocompromised patients. While studied extensively, the relationship between C. albicans hyphal growth and estrogen (E2) has yielded mixed results amongst researchers. In our research, we attempted to provide clarity to this relationship by using a variety of solid media and studying how each affects E2’s influence on hyphal development. We used three solid media; Minimum, Spider, and YEPD. In our experiments, we found that C. albicans undergoes three distinct morphologies and variable behavior between the three media types. In Minimum media, we found that E2 is blocking filamentous growth after day two compared to no E2. In Spider media, E2 is blocking filamentous growth up to day three compared to no E2. Finally, in YEPD, E2 inhibits filamentous growth only at day two compared to no E2. In our conditions, E2 has an inhibitory effect on filamentous growth. Furthermore, our observations suggest that the inhibition is media-dependent. Currently, we are testing fetal bovine serum (FBS), which is known to induce filamentation, as a positive control to compare to the effects of E2.
Camp, Paige M.; Gundelach, George C.; Bouyer, Patrice; and Watters, Michael, "The Effects of Estrogen (E2) on the Filamentous Growth of Candida albicans on Assorted Solid Medias" (2021). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 106.