To (i) establish in vitro and ex vivo commensal and infection models for C. tropicalis; (ii) to dissect the different stages of infection; (iii) to characterize the transcriptional response of the host and the fungus during infection; and (iv) to identify stage-specific markers of C. tropicalis infection.
In collaboration with ESR5, ESR6 will monitor the interaction of C. tropicalis and C. parapsilosis with vaginal and intestinal epithelial, and endothelial cells and blood cells, and the infection process will be characterized as described for ESR5. RNA-seq will be used to determine the stage-specific transcriptional profile of the pathogen and the host. ESR6 will carry out the laboratory experiments associated with C. tropicalis. Analysis of all RNA-seq data (from ESRs 5,6,9,12) will be performed in collaboration with ESR2 (P1). Candidate genes will be disrupted and their roles in infection analysed.