The pathogenicity of the opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans depends on its ability to inhibit effective destruction by host phagocytes. Using live cell video microscopy, we show here for the first time that C. albicans inhibits cell division in macrophages undergoing mitosis. Inhibition of macrophage cell division is dependent on the ability of C. albicans to form hyphae, as it is rarely observed following phagocytosis of UV-killed or morphogenesis-defective mutant Candida. Interestingly, failed cell division following phagocytosis of hyphal C. albicans is surprisingly common, and leads to the formation of large multinuclear macrophages. This raises question as to whether inhibition of macrophage cell division is another virulence attribute of C. albicans or enables host macrophages to contain the pathogen.
- Candida albicans
- innate immunology