Elucidating the Impact of Probiotics on the Fungal Microbiome: Mechanisms of Interkingdom Interactions

Interactions between bacteria and fungi are ubiquitous. One environment where these interkingdom interactions are crucial for maintaining human health is the vaginal microbiome. A decline in abundance of bacteria can lead to overgrowth of fungi such as Candida albicans, which occurs in ~75% of healthy women at least once in their lifetime. This imbalance is associated with significant economic costs and has a negative impact on quality of life. Probiotics normally present in the vaginal microbiome have emerged as a strategy to restore homeostasis, though the mechanisms involved remain unknown. This research will assess the capacity of Lallemand probiotic species to impair C. albicans filamentous growth, a key virulence trait, and will elucidate the mechanisms involved. This research enable the development of the most suitable probiotics for future nutritional programs. Ultimately, this program has potential to stimulate economic growth and to improve the quality of life of women globally.

Jessie McAlpine
Faculty Supervisor: 
Leah Cowen
Partner University: