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J Infect Dis. 2002 Apr 15;185(8):1103-14. Epub 2002 Mar 21.

Mucosal candidiasis in transgenic mice expressing human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine Hospital, 3175 Côte-Ste-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1C5.


The availability of CD4C/HIV(MutA) transgenic (Tg) mice expressing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in immune cells and developing an AIDS-like disease has provided the opportunity to devise a model of mucosal candidiasis that closely mimics the clinical and pathologic features of candidal infection in human AIDS. After intraoral infection with Candida albicans, oral burdens were strikingly elevated in the Tg mice, compared with non-Tg littermates (P<.05), during primary infection, a 6-10-week carrier state, and a marked terminal outgrowth preceding death. The chronic carrier state was absent in the non-Tg mice because of clearing of C. albicans. Candida hyphae penetrated the epithelium of the oral cavity, esophagus, and cardial-atrium fold of the stomach, accompanied by a mononuclear cell infiltrate. Immunohistochemical analysis suggested that decreased frequencies of major histocompatibility complex class II-expressing cells, combined with reduced CD4+ cells, may underlie the susceptibility to mucosal candidiasis in these Tg mice.

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