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Role of C. albicans in cervical HPV infection and neoplasia




Role of C. albicans in cervical HPV infection and neoplasia

C. albicans invading an organotypic culture of cervical epithelium (red, PAS stain for fungal hyphae; brown, E-cadherin; blue, nuclei).

Cervical cancer claims the lives of approximately 4000 women each year in the United States. This cancer strikes Hispanic women especially hard, and cervical cancer is the 8th leading cause of new cancers amongst Hispanic women in New Mexico. Almost all of these cervical cancers are associated with infection by a virus called Human Papillomavirus, which causes changes in the cervix that lead to formation of cancer. Many other microbes are normal residents of the female genital tract, such as the yeast Candida albicans. Our research investigates ways that Candida albicans, Human Papillomavirus and cervical tissue interact to encourage the formation of cancer or promote the growth of early stage cancer into more invasive and dangerous stages. We anticipate that this research will uncover previously unappreciated disease mechanisms that will suggest improved methods for prevention and treatment of Human Papillomavirus infection and cervical cancer in the future.