The prevalence of Candida parapsilosis, an opportunistic human pathogenic fungal species, is increasing at an alarming rate in the hospital environment. Patients at risk for C. parapsilosis infection include those with immunosuppression, such as individuals with cancer, AIDS, and low birth weight premature neonates as well as patients that had undergone abdominal surgery. Neonatal candidiasis caused by C. parapsilosis has been widely reported across the globe. Various reports have shown that, compared to other Candida species, certain C. parapsilosis clinical isolates were less susceptible to antifungals such as amphotericin B, fluconazole, and caspofungin. In addition, some studies have even reported multi-echinocandin or multi-azole resistant strains of C. parapsilosis. C. parapsilosis has several virulence factors that contribute to its capacity for host invasion and among these factors extracellular lipases have a major role in pathogenesis. In this review we have collected all the recent relevant studies that confirm the involvement of secreted lipases in C. parapsilosis pathogenesis, using both in vitro and in vivo models of infection. Of particular note, an available lipase deficient C. parapsilosis strain has been utilized to demonstrate that the lack of secreted lipases decreased virulence, reduced tissue damage, and was less able to survive within phagocytes or mice compared to the wild type. Since fungal secreted lipases have different characteristics than lipolytic enzymes present in humans, C. parapsilosis extracellular lipases may be potential targets for the development of novel antifungal drugs.
Keywords: Candida parapsilosis, extracellular lipase, pathogenicity, macrophages, dendritic cells, reconstituted human tissue, in vivo models.