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Mucosal biofilms of Candida albicans.
Biofilms are microbial communities that form on surfaces and are embedded in an extracellular matrix. C. albicans forms pathogenic mucosal biofilms that are evoked by changes in host immunity or mucosal ecology. Mucosal surfaces are inhabited by many microbial species; hence these biofilms are polymicrobial. Several recent studies have applied paradigms of biofilm analysis to study mucosal C. albicans infections. These studies reveal that the Bcr1 transcription factor is a master regulator of C. albicans biofilm formation under diverse conditions, though the most relevant Bcr1 target genes can vary with the biofilm niche. An important determinant of mucosal biofilm formation is the interaction with host defenses. Finally, studies of interactions between bacterial species and C. albicans provide insight into the communication mechanisms that endow polymicrobial biofilms with unique properties.