Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a dynamic interkingdom biofilm disease of Candida and Lactobacillus

McKloud, E. et al. (2021) Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a dynamic interkingdom biofilm disease of Candida and Lactobacillus. mSystems, 6(4), e00622-21. (doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00622-21) (PMID:34374560) (PMCID:PMC8407231)

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Abstract

Despite the strikingly high worldwide prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), treatment options for recurrent VVC (RVVC) remain limited, with many women experiencing failed clinical treatment with frontline azoles. Further, the cause of onset and recurrence of disease is largely unknown, with few studies identifying potential mechanisms of treatment failure. This study aimed to assess a panel of clinical samples from healthy women and those with RVVC to investigate the influence of Candida, the vaginal microbiome, and how their interaction influences disease pathology. 16S rRNA sequencing characterized disease by a reduction in specific health-associated Lactobacillus species, such as Lactobacillus crispatus, coupled with an increase in Lactobacillus iners. In vitro analysis showed that Candida albicans clinical isolates are capable of heterogeneous biofilm formation, and we found the presence of hyphae and C. albicans aggregates in vaginal lavage fluid. Additionally, the ability of Lactobacillus to inhibit C. albicans biofilm formation and biofilm-related gene expression was demonstrated. Using RNA sequencing technology, we were able to identify a possible mechanism by which L. crispatus may contribute to re-establishing a healthy vaginal environment through amino acid acquisition from C. albicans. This study highlights the potential formation and impact of Candida biofilms in RVVC. Additionally, it suggests that RVVC is not entirely due to an arbitrary switch in C. albicans from commensal to pathogen and that understanding interactions between this yeast and vaginal Lactobacillus species may be crucial to elucidating the cause of RVVC and developing appropriate therapies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thomas, Dr Rachel and Williams, Dr Craig and Sherry, Dr Leighann and Gerasimidis, Professor Konstantinos and Ramage, Professor Gordon and Delaney, Christopher and Metcalfe, Rebecca
Authors: McKloud, E., Delaney, C., Sherry, L., Kean, R., Williams, S., Metcalfe, R., Thomas, R., Richardson, R., Gerasimidis, K., Nile, C. J., Williams, C., and Ramage, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:mSystems
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:2379-5077
ISSN (Online):2379-5077
Published Online:10 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Crown copyright 2021
First Published:First published in mSystems 6(4): e00622-21
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
166959The Natural History of Dentures: A Microbiological PerspectiveGordon RamageBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/K501013/1Med - Dental School
173112Understanding processes and mechanisms affecting the oral microbiome using OMICs approachesGordon RamageBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P504567/1Med - Dental School