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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jan 15;183(2):277-285. Epub 2000 Dec 13.

Candida-specific systemic cell-mediated immune reactivities in human immunodeficiency virus-positive persons with mucosal candidiasis.

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Department of General Dentistry, Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, New Orleans, LA, USA.


Oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC), as opposed to vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), is a common opportunistic infection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive persons that correlates with reduced CD4 T cell counts. Although cell-mediated immunity (CMI) by CD4 Th1-type cells is considered to be the predominant host defense against mucosal candidiasis, the immune factors associated with susceptibility to OPC in HIV-positive persons are not well understood. This study investigated Candida-specific systemic CMI in HIV-positive persons with OPC and/or VVC. Reductions in delayed skin test reactivity to Candida antigen were observed in HIV-positive persons with CD4 cell counts <200 cells/microL, irrespective of the presence of mucosal infection. Likewise, despite the correlate of OPC with reduced CD4 cell counts in HIV-positive persons, differences in Candida-specific peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation and Th1/Th2 cytokine production between HIV-positive and HIV-negative persons were not consistent in a manner to suggest that deficiencies in Candida-specific systemic CMI account solely for the susceptibility to OPC.

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