The incidence of systemic fungal infection is increasing, and millions of people around the world suffer from fungal infections. Candida albicans is one of the most frequently isolated fungal pathogens in clinical settings. As a polymorphic organism, the transition between yeast and hyphae is critical for C. albicans virulence and pathogenesis. However, the mechanism of hyphae-associated virulence remains unclear. Candidalysin is the first human fungal cytolytic peptide toxin originating from the hyphae-specific gene, ECE1. This review will summarize the most recent progress underlying candidalysin-mediated epithelial damage and host defense pathways, which might shed new light on the development of a novel antifungal strategy and early diagnostic biomarker.
Source of Support: None. Conflict of Interest: None.