Candida auris uses metabolic strategies to escape and kill macrophages while avoiding robust activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome response

Harshini Weerasinghe, Claudia Simm, Tirta Mario Djajawi, Irma Tedja, Tricia L. Lo, Daniel S. Simpson, David Shasha, Naama Mizrahi, Françios A.B. Olivier, Mary Speir, Kate E. Lawlor, Ronen Ben-Ami, Ana Traven

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Metabolic adaptations regulate the response of macrophages to infection. The contributions of metabolism to macrophage interactions with the emerging fungal pathogen Candida auris are poorly understood. Here, we show that C. auris-infected macrophages undergo immunometabolic reprogramming and increase glycolysis but fail to activate a strong interleukin (IL)-1β cytokine response or curb C. auris growth. Further analysis shows that C. auris relies on its own metabolic capacity to escape from macrophages and proliferate in vivo. Furthermore, C. auris kills macrophages by triggering host metabolic stress through glucose starvation. However, despite causing macrophage cell death, C. auris does not trigger robust activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Consequently, inflammasome-dependent responses remain low throughout infection. Collectively, our findings show that C. auris uses metabolic regulation to eliminate macrophages while remaining immunologically silent to ensure its own survival. Thus, our data suggest that host and pathogen metabolism could represent therapeutic targets for C. auris infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112522
Number of pages24
JournalCell Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023


  • Candida auris
  • CP: Immunology
  • immunometabolism
  • innate immunity
  • macrophage
  • NLRP3 inflammasome

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