Dr. Jose Luis Lopez-Ribot's laboratory studies the opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. C. albicans is part of the normal human microbiota. However, as an opportunistic pathogen it is capable of causing overt disease (candidiasis), but usually only in hosts with defective immunity.
The frequency of candidiasis has increased dramatically in the last decades as a result of an expanding population of immunocompromised patients. As a result, candidiasis is now the fourth most common nosocomial infections. The seriousness of this problem is heightened by the fact that, even with treatment using available antifungal agents, mortality rates lie in the 30- 40 percent range for these infected patients.
As an opportunistic pathogen, it is clear that mechanisms of host immunity and pathogen virulence intertwine, giving rise to the highly complex nature of host-fungus interactions. However, the interplay between host immunity and fungal virulence has traditionally been ignored and most investigations into these topics are overwhelmingly “one-sided” which has resulted in a dangerous dichotomy between “microorganism-centered” and “host-centered” views of candidal pathogenesis.
Thus, studies in his laboratory try to integrate these two facets to better understand and offer a more global perspective of C. albicans pathogenesis. Results have already provided new paradigms in the host-fungus relationship during candidiasis.
Uppuluri, P., A.K. Chaturvedi, A. Srinivasan, M. Banerjee, A.K. Ramasubramaniam, J.R. Köhler, D. Kadosh and J.L. Lopez Ribot. 2010. Dispersion as an Important Step in the Candida albicans Biofilm Developmental Cycle. PLoS Pathogens.6:e1000828
Uppuluri, P., A. Srinivasan, A.K. Ramasubramanian and J.L. Lopez-Ribot. 2011. Effect of fluconazole, amphotericin B and caspofungin against Candida albicans biofilms under conditions of flow and on biofilm dispersion. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55:3591-3
Robbins, N., P. Uppuluri, J. Nett, R. Rajendran, G. Ramage, J.L. Lopez-Ribot, D. Andes, and L. E. Cowen. 2011. Hsp90 Governs Dispersion and Drug Resistance of Fungal Biofilms. PLoS Pathogens. 7(9): e1002257. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002257.
Uppuluri, P., AK Chaturvedi, N. Jani, R. Pukkila-Worley, C. Monteagudo, E. Mylonakis, J.R. Köhler and J.L. Lopez Ribot. 2012. Physiologic Expression of the Candida albicans Pescadillo Homolog Is Required for Virulence in the Murine Model of Hematogenously Disseminated Candidiasis. Eukaryot Cell. 11:1552-1556
Siles, S., A. Srinivasan, C.G. Pierce, J.L. Lopez-Ribot, and A.K. Ramasubramanian. 2013. High-throughput screening of a collection of known pharmacologically active small compounds for the identification of Candida albicans biofilm inhibitors. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 57:3681-7
Srinivasan, A., K.P. Leung, J.L. Lopez-Ribot, and A.K. Ramasubramanian. 2013. High-throughput nano-biofilm microarray for antifungal drug discovery. mBio. 4: e00331-13
Pierce, C.G. and J.L. Lopez-Ribot. 2013. Candidiasis drug discovery and development: new approaches targeting virulence for discovering and identifying new drugs. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery. 8:1117-26
Pierce, C.G., A. Srinivasan, A., P. Uppuluri, A. K. Ramasubramanian and J.L. Lopez-Ribot. 2013. Antifungal therapy with an emphasis on biofilms. Current Opinion Pharmacology. 5: 726-30.
Kadosh, D. and J.L. Lopez-Ribot. 2013. Candida albicans: adapting to succeed. Cell Host and Microbe. 14:483-5
Sarkar, S., P. Uppuluri, C.G. Pierce and J.L. Lopez-Ribot. 2014. An in vitro study of sequential fluconazole/caspofungin treatment against Candida albicans biofilms. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 58: 1183-6