Candida albicans and Enterococcus faecalis biofilm frenemies: when the relationship sours

Om Alkhir Alshanta, Khawlah Albashaireh, Emily McKloud, Christopher Delaney, Ryan Kean, William McLean, Gordon Ramage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


The opportunistic yeast Candida albicans and lactic acid bacteria Enterococcus faecalis are frequently co-isolated from various infection sites on the human body, suggesting a common interkingdom interaction. While some reports suggest an antagonism, the reason for their co-isolation therefore remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to undertake a detailed characterisation of this dual-species interaction. We used standard biofilm characterisation methodologies alongside an RNASeq analysis to assess the response of C. albicans to E. faecalis. We evaluated the relevance of pH to dual-species biofilm interactions and demonstrated that E. faecalis rapidly and significantly impacted C. albicans morphogenesis and biofilm formation, which was mirrored by levels of gene expression. These transcripts were enriched in amino acids biosynthesis and metabolism pathways in co-cultures, a finding that guided our investigation into pH related mechanism. We were able to demonstrate the direct role of E. faecalis induced low pH, which inhibited C. albicans hyphal morphogenesis and biofilm formation. The results suggest that the anti-candidal effect of E. faecalis is not based solely on a single mechanism, instead it may involve various mechanisms, which collectively reflects the complexity of interaction between C. albicans and E. faecalis and impacts treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100072
Number of pages13
Early online date14 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • interkingdom
  • biofilm
  • candida albicans
  • enterococcus faecalis
  • supernatant
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology


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