Project Title

Determining the Polymicrobial Relationship Between Candida albicans and Enterobacter spp

Authors' Affiliations

Abigail Cornett and Dr. Sean Fox, Department of Health Sciences, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Culp Ballroom

Start Date

4-7-2022 9:00 AM

End Date

4-7-2022 12:00 PM

Poster Number

90

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Health Sciences

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Sean Fox

Additional Sponsors

Dr. Michael Kruppa, Dr. Erik Petersen

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Competition Type

Competitive

Type

Poster Presentation

Project's Category

Microbiology

Abstract or Artist's Statement

Candida albicans is the most common human fungal pathogen. Its relationship with various bacterial species has been documented, showing an increase in host mortality in some cases and a decrease in others. The need for new antibiotics and antifungal treatments have led to studies on polymicrobial interactions and how those interactions impact host health. Interactions between microbes within the human body are inevitable, and exploring these relationships can aid in the development of novel antimicrobials and can deepen our understanding of the complex human microbiome. The relationship between C. albicans and Enterobacter bacteria have yet to be explored. Both are commensal organisms, living asymptomatically in immunocompetent individuals. The hypothesis of this study is that C. albicans and both E. aerogenes and E. cloacae have a positive relationship and work together to infect the host. In this study, the physical cell-to-cell interaction was analyzed by utilizing planktonic (free-floating) and biofilm co-cultures, performing live/dead staining, observing the effect of morphology on the interaction, and examining if Enterobacter alters C. albicans morphology. C. albicans was cultured with Enterobacter lysate to determine if Enterobacter can inhibit C. albicans without physical contact. Enzyme-linked immune assays (ELISAs) were performed on C. albicans ALS deficient mutants to ascertain their potential involvement in cell-to-cell adherence. ELISAs were also utilized to screen E. cloacae mutants for deficiency in attachment to C. albicans. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to compare expression of the HWP1 gene in C. albicans when mono-cultured versus co-cultured. Caenorhabditis elegans were used as a host model to examine the effect that co-culture has on survival and microbial burden. It was found that Enterobacter can inhibit C. albicans growth, no matter its morphology, and it is not necessary for Enterobacter cells to be present for inhibition to occur. C. albicans appears to have more hyphae when incubated with Enterobacter for 24 hours than incubated alone. Research involving ELISAs, RT-PCR, and C. elegans is ongoing.

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 PM

Determining the Polymicrobial Relationship Between Candida albicans and Enterobacter spp

Culp Ballroom

Candida albicans is the most common human fungal pathogen. Its relationship with various bacterial species has been documented, showing an increase in host mortality in some cases and a decrease in others. The need for new antibiotics and antifungal treatments have led to studies on polymicrobial interactions and how those interactions impact host health. Interactions between microbes within the human body are inevitable, and exploring these relationships can aid in the development of novel antimicrobials and can deepen our understanding of the complex human microbiome. The relationship between C. albicans and Enterobacter bacteria have yet to be explored. Both are commensal organisms, living asymptomatically in immunocompetent individuals. The hypothesis of this study is that C. albicans and both E. aerogenes and E. cloacae have a positive relationship and work together to infect the host. In this study, the physical cell-to-cell interaction was analyzed by utilizing planktonic (free-floating) and biofilm co-cultures, performing live/dead staining, observing the effect of morphology on the interaction, and examining if Enterobacter alters C. albicans morphology. C. albicans was cultured with Enterobacter lysate to determine if Enterobacter can inhibit C. albicans without physical contact. Enzyme-linked immune assays (ELISAs) were performed on C. albicans ALS deficient mutants to ascertain their potential involvement in cell-to-cell adherence. ELISAs were also utilized to screen E. cloacae mutants for deficiency in attachment to C. albicans. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to compare expression of the HWP1 gene in C. albicans when mono-cultured versus co-cultured. Caenorhabditis elegans were used as a host model to examine the effect that co-culture has on survival and microbial burden. It was found that Enterobacter can inhibit C. albicans growth, no matter its morphology, and it is not necessary for Enterobacter cells to be present for inhibition to occur. C. albicans appears to have more hyphae when incubated with Enterobacter for 24 hours than incubated alone. Research involving ELISAs, RT-PCR, and C. elegans is ongoing.