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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 963156, 11 pages
Research Article

Cigarette Smoke-Exposed Candida albicans Increased Chitin Production and Modulated Human Fibroblast Cell Responses

1Groupe de Recherche en Écologie Buccale, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Université Laval, 2420 rue de la Terrasse, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Genome Research Chair, Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 12371, Saudi Arabia

Received 24 July 2014; Revised 29 August 2014; Accepted 29 August 2014; Published 11 September 2014

Academic Editor: John B. Vincent

Copyright © 2014 Humidah Alanazi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The predisposition of cigarette smokers for development of respiratory and oral bacterial infections is well documented. Cigarette smoke can also contribute to yeast infection. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) on C. albicans transition, chitin content, and response to environmental stress and to examine the interaction between CSC-pretreated C. albicans and normal human gingival fibroblasts. Following exposure to CSC, C. albicans transition from blastospore to hyphal form increased. CSC-pretreated yeast cells became significantly () sensitive to oxidation but significantly () resistant to both osmotic and heat stress. CSC-pretreated C. albicans expressed high levels of chitin, with 2- to 8-fold recorded under hyphal conditions. CSC-pretreated C. albicans adhered better to the gingival fibroblasts, proliferated almost three times more and adapted into hyphae, while the gingival fibroblasts recorded a significantly () slow growth rate but a significantly higher level of IL-1β when in contact with CSC-pretreated C. albicans. CSC was thus able to modulate both C. albicans transition through the cell wall chitin content and the interaction between C. albicans and normal human gingival fibroblasts. These findings may be relevant to fungal infections in the oral cavity in smokers.