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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2000 Dec;16(4):545-7.

Candida albicans cellular internalization: a new pathogenic factor?

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Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Preclinical Science and L. Sacco Teaching Hospital, University of Milan, L.I.T.A. Vialba, Via G.B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy.


The preliminary results of a study to show the possibility that Candida albicans can internalize into epithelial cells are reported. The study was performed on buccal, vaginal and HeLa cells. Buccal and vaginal cells, at a concentration of 5 x 10(4) cells/ml and HeLa monolayers were incubated for 2, 3 and 4 h with 10(5) colony forming units of a Candida albicans isolate. After incubation, non-internalised yeasts were eliminated and samples were processed for examination by Scanning Electron Microscopy. Results suggest that receptor-mediated endocytosis could be involved in the pathogenesis of recurrent oral and vaginal infections. This phenomenon could represent an interesting experimental model to testing drug interference in the development of therapeutic strategies against C. albicans infections.

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