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Phage Displayed Short Peptides against Cells of Candida albicans Demonstrate Presence of Species, Morphology and Region Specific Carbohydrate Epitopes

Anandakumar, Soshee and Boosi, Kannan Narayanarao and Bugatha, Harigopalarao and Padmanabhan, Bhavna and Sadhale, Parag P (2011) Phage Displayed Short Peptides against Cells of Candida albicans Demonstrate Presence of Species, Morphology and Region Specific Carbohydrate Epitopes. In: PLos One, 6 (2).

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Candida albicans is a commensal opportunistic pathogen, which can cause superficial infections as well as systemic infections in immuocompromised hosts. Among nosocomial fungal infections, infections by C. albicans are associated with highest mortality rates even though incidence of infections by other related species is on the rise world over. Since C. albicans and other Candida species differ in their susceptibility to antifungal drug treatment, it is crucial to accurately identify the species for effective drug treatment. Most diagnostic tests that differentiate between C. albicans and other Candida species are time consuming, as they necessarily involve laboratory culturing. Others, which employ highly sensitive PCR based technologies often, yield false positives which is equally dangerous since that leads to unnecessary antifungal treatment. This is the first report of phage display technology based identification of short peptide sequences that can distinguish C. albicans from other closely related species. The peptides also show high degree of specificity towards its different morphological forms. Using fluorescence microscopy, we show that the peptides bind on the surface of these cells and obtained clones that could even specifically bind to only specific regions of cells indicating restricted distribution of the epitopes. What was peculiar and interesting was that the epitopes were carbohydrate in nature. This gives insight into the complexity of the carbohydrate composition of fungal cell walls. In an ELISA format these peptides allow specific detection of relatively small numbers of C. albicans cells. Hence, if used in combination, such a test could help accurate diagnosis and allow physicians to initiate appropriate drug therapy on time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: PLos One
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Additional Information: Creative Commons Attribution License
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2011 10:07
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2011 10:12
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/35980

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