By PLoS Genetics, [RxPG] Candida albicans is a commonly encountered fungal pathogen usually responsible for superficial infections (thrush and vaginitis). However, an estimated 30% of severe fungal infections, most due to Candida, result in death. Those who are most at risk include individuals taking immune-suppressive drugs following organ transplantation, people with HIV infection, premature infants, and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Current therapies for this pathogen are made more difficult by the significant secondary effects of anti-fungal drugs that target proteins that are also found in the human host.
Recent sequencing and assembly of the genome for the fungal pathogen C. albicans used simple automated procedures for the identification of putative genes. Here, we report a detailed annotation of the 6,354 genes that are present in the genome sequence of this organism, essentially writing the dictionary of the C. albicans genome.
Comparison with other fungal genomes permitted the identification of numerous fungus-specific genes that are absent from the human genome and whose products might be targeted for antifungal therapy. The results of these efforts will thus ensure that the Candida research community has uniform and comprehensive genomic information for medical research, for the development of functional genomic tools as well as for future diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Braun BR, van het Hoog M, d'Enfert C, Martchenko M, Dungan J, et al. (2005) A Human-Curated Annotation of the Candida albicans Genome. PLoS Genet 1(1): e1
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