Invasive Candidiasis (IC) presents a global mortality rate greater than 40%, occupying the fourth place worldwide as the most frequent opportunistic nosocomial disease. Although the genus Candida consists of around 200 species, only 20 are reported as etiological agents of IC, being Candida albicans the most frequent causal agent. Even when there is a broad range of antifungals drugs for Candida infections, azoles, polyenes, and echinocandins are considered among the most effective treatment. However, there is some incidence for antifungal resistance among some Candida strains, limiting treatment options. Several molecular mechanisms with antifungal agents have been reported for C. albicans where insertions, deletions, and point mutations in genes codifying target proteins are frequently related to the antifungal drug resistance. Furthermore, gene overexpression is also frequently associated to antifungal resistance as well as an increase in the activity of proteins that reduce oxidative damage. This chapter summarizes the main molecular mechanisms to C. albicans antifungal drug resistance, besides offering an overview of new antifungal agents and new antifungal targets to combat fungal infections.
Part of the book: Advances in Candida albicans