Date of Award

Summer 8-17-2018

Thesis Access

WSU Access Only (1 year) Honors Thesis

Thesis Location

Honors College Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Robert Akins


Candida albicans secrete nanovesicles, also known as exosomes. Dr. Akins’ laboratory has found that the cargo in these vesicles varies depending on what stress the cell population is experiencing, and that the vesicles have the ability to communicate a protective response to recipient Candidacells. One way we can isolate the exosomes and show protection of recipient cells is by using fluconazole plus CSA (Cyclosporin A) and stressing with AmB (Amphotericin B). We have determined that the fluconazole plus CSA stress on albican cells produces exosomes that are able to protect naïve recipient cells when stressed a second time with AmB. This thesis is centered on determining if these exosomes are still able to protect recipient cells in the presence of mammalian white blood cells. White blood cells function to engulf foreign microorganisms, therefore, if the mammalian white bloods cells were to engulf the exosomes, there would be no protection of naïve recipient cells. Also, this thesis focuses on protection within the Candida genus. There are two common species of Candida known as Candida lusitaniaeand Candida glabrata. When hydrogen peroxide stress experiments are run on both, the results show that they also have the ability to produce their own protective exosomes just like Candida albicans. Since they produce protective exosomes, we decided to take the exosomes from C. glabrata and C. lusitaniae and test to see if they have the ability to protect C. albican recipient cells. Our results show that they are able to protect the recipient cells from hydrogen peroxide, so there is cross protection within the Candidagenus.

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