Bacterial-Fungal Interactions and Their Impact on Microbial Pathogenesis

Mol Ecol. 2022 Mar 1. doi: 10.1111/mec.16411. Online ahead of print.


Microbial communities of the human microbiota exhibit diverse effects on human health and disease. Microbial homeostasis is important for normal physiological functions and changes to the microbiota are associated with many human diseases including diabetes, cancer, and colitis. In addition, there are also many microorganisms that are either commensal or acquired from environmental reservoirs that can cause diverse pathologies. Importantly, the balance between health and disease is intricately connected to how members of the microbiota interact and affect one another’s growth and pathogenicity. However, the mechanisms that govern these interactions are only beginning to be understood. In this review, we outline bacterial-fungal interactions in the human body, including examining the mechanisms by which bacteria govern fungal growth and virulence, as well as how fungi regulate bacterial pathogenesis. We summarize advances in the understanding of chemical, physical, and protein-based interactions, and their role in exacerbating or impeding human disease. We focus on the three fungal species responsible for the majority of systemic fungal infections in humans: Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. We conclude by summarizing recent work in mining microbes for novel antimicrobials and antivirulence factors, highlighting the potential of the human microbiota as a rich resource for small molecule discovery.

PMID:35231147 | DOI:10.1111/mec.16411

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