Mucosal and systemic candidiasis in congenitally immunodeficient mice

M. T. Cantorna, E. Balish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Scopus citations

Abstract

Colony counts and light microscopy were used to assess the capacity of Candida albicans to colonize, infect the alimentary tract, and cause disseminated disease in athymic (nu/nu), euthymic (nu/+), beige (bg/bg), black (bg/+), beige athymic (bg/bg nu/nu), or beige euthymic (bg/bg nu/+) germfree mice. The alimentary tracts of all six genotypes of germfree mice were quickly colonized after exposure to yeast-phase C. albicans. Only bg/bg nu/nu mice showed obvious morbidity and mortality after mucosal colonization with C. albicans. Histopathology of C. albicans-colonized immunocompetent (nu/+, bg/+) and singly immunodeficient (nu/nu, bg/bg, bg/bg nu/+) mice showed minimal to moderate mucosal infections, whereas doubly immunodeficient (bg/bg nu/nu) mice showed extensive yeast and hyphal infection of the palate, tongue, esophagus, and stomach. A progressive systemic infection in C. albicans-colonized mice occurred only in bg/bg nu/nu mice 12 to 16 weeks after colonization and mucosal infection. Thus, it appears that a combination of defective cell-mediated immunity and phagocytic cell defects (polymorphonuclear leukocytes and/or macrophages) predisposed mice to severe mucosal and systemic candidiasis of endogenous origin. This is the first report of a mouse strain that is not only naturally susceptible to mucosal and systemic candidiasis of endogenous origin but also shows lethality at early (1 to 4 weeks) and late (12 to 16 weeks) times after alimentary tract colonization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1100
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume58
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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