Fungal Biology and Pathogenicity


The Fungal Biology and Pathogenicity Unit at Institut Pasteur studies the yeasts that are responsible for infections in Humans. In the recent years, fungal infections have become a prominent problem. This in part reflects the increase in immunocompromized individuals (HIV infected individuals, transplant recipients, patients in intensive care units) as well as increased life expectancy. In developed countries, fungal infections are considered as one of the primary causes of nosocomial infections.

Hemiascomycetous yeasts of the genus Candida, and most notably Candida albicans, are responsible for most of the life-threatening systemic fungal infections, especially among intensive-care unit (ICU) patients, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and patients awaiting transplantation. Life-threatening infections due to Candida species are estimated at > 400,000 cases and ~200,000 deaths per year.


Christophe d’Enfert’s lab

Cryptococcus neoformans, a basidiomycetous yeast, is responsible for deadly infections in immunocompromized patients, especially those with AIDS. It is globally distributed and causes pneumonia and meningoencephalitis in an estimated 1 million people annually, leading to ~620,000 deaths per year. Fungal infections represent a real concern because of their high mortality rate, despite the availability of antifungal treatments and other therapeutic approaches.




The main aims of the Fungal Biology and Pathogenicity Unit are to study the biology of C. albicans and C. neoformans, the pathophysiology of infections due to these opportunistic pathogens and their epidemiology, with a view to providing solutions for the management of fungal infections. Research within our Unit is therefore focused on four main themes:



Research on these themes relies on functional genomics tools, some of which are developed within our Unit. We, together with the Munro group at the University of Aberdeen, have developed the C. albicans ORFeome, a plasmid collection for >5200 C. albicans ORFs and are proceeding towards the establishment of collections of barcoded overexpression plasmids and strains.


Our Unit forms part of the Mycology Department at Institut Pasteur. We are also affiliated with the department of Genomes and Genetics at Institut Pasteur, and with the Microbiology and the Food Chain Department at the National Institute for Agronomic Research (USC 2019).



On February 4, 2015, the Institut Pasteur Mycology Department will be officially launched in the Jacques Monod amphitheater.The event will take the form of a scientific meeting with European leaders in the study of human fungal pathogens and those at Institut Pasteur working on this topic. The meeting is free but prior registration is required.



A call to establish independent research groups in the Mycology Department at Institut Pasteur has been launched. This call is open to junior scientists as well as mid-career and senior scientists. The deadline for submitting applications is February 27th, 2015.


Our paper entitled "Targeted Changes of the Cell Wall Proteome Influence Candida albicans Ability to Form Single- and Multi-strain Biofilms" by Vitor Cabral, Sadri Znaidi et al. was just published in PLoS Pathogens


The paper entited "Microevolution of Candida albicans in macrophages restores filamentation in a nonfilamentous mutant" by Anja Wartenberg et al. and to which we contributed was just published in PLoS Genetics


All the news


We are organizing the 6th FEBS Advanced Lecture Course on Human Fungal Pathogens in La Colle-sur-Loup, France, May 16-22, 2015.


Registration will open December 1st at


Contact: hfp2015[at]


Christophe d’Enfert

Fungal Biology and Pathogenicity Unit

Mycology Department


Tel +33 1 40 61 32 57

Fax +33 1 40 61 34 56

Email bpf[at]


The lab is located on the fourth floor of the Fernbach building, n°68 on the Institut Pasteur’s campus map


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