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Candida tropicalis is an important human pathogen that can undergo multiple forms of phenotypic switching. We aimed to evaluate the effect of phenotypic switching on the adhesion ability of C. tropicalis. C. tropicalis morphotypes included parental phenotypes (clinical isolates) and switch phenotypes (crepe, revertant of crepe-CR, rough, revertant of rough-RR, irregular center and revertant of irregular center-ICR). Adhesion to polystyrene and HeLa cells was determined by crystal violet assay. The percentage of HeLa cells with adhered yeasts and the number of adhered yeasts per HeLa cell were determined by light microscopy. Filamentation among adhered cells was assessed by direct counting. On polystyrene, 60% of the switch strains showed difference (p < 0.05) on adhesion ability compared to their parental counterpart strains, and altered thickness of adhered cells layers. Filamentation was increased among adhered cells of the switched strains compared to parental strains. A positive correlation was observed between adhesion on polystyrene and filamentation for morphotypes of the system 49.07. The majority of the switched strains showed higher adhesion capability to HeLa cells in comparison to the adherence of the clinical strains. All revertant strains showed a higher number of yeast cells per HeLa cell compared to their variant counterparts (p < 0.05), with exception of the ICR. Our findings indicate that switching events in C. tropicalis affect adhesion and filamentation of adhered cells on polystyrene and HeLa cells. The rise of switch strains with increased adhesion ability may contribute to the success of infection associated with C. tropicalis.


Cássia Milena de Souza, Hugo Felix Perini, Waldiceu Aparecido Verri, Tiago Henrique Zaninelli, Luciana Furlaneto-Maia, Marcia Cristina Furlaneto. Changes in Adhesion of Candida tropicalis Clinical Isolates Exhibiting Switch Phenotypes to Polystyrene and HeLa Cells. Mycopathologia. 2021 Mar;186(1):81-91

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PMID: 33151458

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