Food Science and Technology Department


First Advisor

Vicki Schlegel

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Food Science & Technology, Under the Supervision of Professor Vicki Schlegel. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Rehab Aldahash


Candida albicans is a dormant commensal in the mucosa of healthy individuals but can become an opportunistic pathogen when the host microflora is compromised. It has been reported as the most common cause of fungal infection among hospitalized U.S. patients, with elevated mortality rate. Candida species have been reported as resistant to antifungal drugs that increase the application of novel strategies to treat this infection. Among the natural compounds that have most gained attention as potential agents against fungi are phenolic compounds against fungi. C. albicans has the ability to switch phenotype from yeast-to-hyphae cells, with hyphae being the most invasive form; therefore, therapies aiming to impair this morphologic transition can be promising against this fungus. The main objective of this work was to evaluate the ability of isolated phenolics to prevent the yeast-to-hyphae transition of C. albicans by modulating the activity of the enzyme complexes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Also, C. albicans strains (SC5314 and A72) responded significantly differently to the OXPHOS respiration even though they showed similar morphologies. Cells were treated with certain concentrations of gallic and ferulic acid in isolation determined to prevent hyphal growth by 25-50%. Results showed that gallic and ferulic acids inhibited the enzyme activity involved in oxidative phosphorylation of C. albicans (SC5314 and A72).

Adviser: Vicki Schlegel