is the second or third most commonly isolated species from blood cultures and is frequently associated with infections in neonatal intensive care units. species have several virulence factors enabling them to adapt to host environmental conditions and cause infections. These factors include adhesion, biofilm formation, and secretion of hydrolytic enzymes, such as acidic proteinases and lipases. species also obtain heavy metal ions from their environment, such as zinc. Zinc is a cofactor of several proteins and a vital element in cellular mechanisms of the fungi. On the one hand, the host niche represents a zinc-limited environment, that indirectly inhibits microbial growth. In order to survive in such an environment, these pathogens have evolved a zinc transport system that allows them to access bound zinc ions during infection. On the other hand, high zinc ion concentration within the host can also be toxic to microbes e.g. in the phagosomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infected macrophages. In case of , zinc acquisition processes are intensively studied, but we lack information of the zinc uptake, transfer and homeostasis mechanisms in . Here, predicted potential zinc transporters in using in silico analyses, generated homozygous knock out mutants and performed their phenotypical characterization by exposing them to various types of stressors and zinc limiting conditions. Furthermore, we analyzed their virulence traits by examining kinetics of fungal cell uptake by macrophages, their killing efficiency and also investigated zinc ion levels in the phagolysosome during in vitro infections

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