Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Sean James Fox

Thesis Professor Department

Health Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Ranjan N. Chakraborty


Candida species are commonly found in the human normal flora, however they are a major cause of nosocomial infections that can be life threatening. This fungal species is an opportunistic pathogen and causes infection in individuals who are immunosuppressed. A key characteristic of Candida’svirulence is the ability to change its morphology from ovoid yeast to filamentous hyphae. Alcaligenes species are common bacteria found in the environment that rarely, if at all, cause infections in humans. It has been observed that when allowed to interact, Alcaligenes faecalis changes the morphology of Candida albicans from yeast cells to hyphal cells. When A. faecalis interacts with Candida glabrata or a mutated C. albicans, it causes no change in morphology and the cells are all in the yeast morphology. When allowed to interact with C. albicans and the mutated C. albicans, Alcaligenes viscolactis did not cause any changes in morphology to either type with all cells staying in the yeast form. Interestingly, however, both A. faecalis and A.s viscolactis both inhibited C. albicans and C. glabrata which was demonstrated on both agar plate interactions and liquid co-cultures. A. faecalis showed a greater inhibitory effect than A.viscolactis. The concentration of A. faecalis does not seem to be a contributing factor to the inhibitory effect it has on both C. albicans and C. glabrata.Taken together, these results demonstrate that A. faecalis and A. viscolactiscould potentially be used to control one of the key virulence traits of C. albicansand could potentially identify new areas of study in Prokaryotic-Eukaryotic interactions, as well as, potential targets for treatment of C. albicans infections.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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