Candida albicans is an opportunistic, dimorphic fungal pathogen that grows both as yeast and filamentous cells(pseudohyphae, hyphae and chlamydospores). Morphogenesis is an essential trait in the pathogenic fungus C. albicans in which the transition from unicellular yeast to filamentous form takes place and vice versa,which is required for virulence.
Morphological changes occur in response to alterations in the growth conditions. Different parameters directly or indirectly influence the process,of which variation in pH is one of them.(others being temperature, growth media, etc)
Microtubules and microfilaments were observed in hyphal cells.The decrease of external pH did not affect microtubules directly, but long microfilaments
disappeared from hyphal cells within 30 min after changing the external pH at 37 "C particularly affects long microfilaments, which disappear from the cytoplasm, and consequently trigger the reversion from hyphal growth to yeast growth.
In the yeast state, Candida is a non-invasive, sugar-fermenting organism, while in fungal state it is invasive and can produce rhizoids, very long root-like structures. Rhizoids can penetrate mucosa or intestinal walls, leaving microscopic holes and allowing toxins, undigested food particles and bacteria and yeast to enter the bloodstream. This condition is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome