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Med Mycol. 2003 Apr;41(2):143-7.

Genetic susceptibility to vaginal candidiasis.

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Department of Medicine, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA 95128-2699, USA.

Erratum in

  • Med Mycol. 2004 Apr;42(2):187.
  • Med Mycol. 2003 Jun;41(3):269.


To enable future studies on host resistance factors and therapy, inbred and outbred mouse strains were tested for susceptibility to vaginal candidiasis. Groups of mice were given 0.5 mg estradiol 3 days before and 4 days after intravaginal challenge with a suspension of Candida albicans. On day 1 after challenge, a swab was used to quantitate infection in all groups and to assure equivalent infection levels. On day 6, this was repeated and the experiment was terminated. BALB/c, the reference strain in repeated experiments, was susceptible, showing persistent infection with levels of cfu at day 6 falling within a range between a twofold decrease and a fourfold increase in relation to day 1 levels. CD-1 outbred mice were markedly resistant, with day 6 cfu levels showing a 74- to 87-fold decrease with respect to day 1 levels, whereas other outbred strains (CF-1, SW, ICR) were susceptible. A BALB/c substrain (ByJ) was also susceptible. With exception of CBA/J, which showed modest resistance, all inbred strains were similarly susceptible, including DBA/2, AKR/J, C3H/HeN, A/J and C57BL/6. The differences between CD-1 and BALB/c mice were also seen with a second C. albicans isolate. Our results show susceptibility to vaginal candidiasis is independent of the major histocompatibility locus H2 haplotype and any effect ascribable to use of particular commercial mouse suppliers. Differences among mouse strains in susceptibility to C. albicans, as seen in previous studies involving nonvaginal challenge routes, are not reflected in this vaginal candidiasis model; in general, such resistance patterns appear specific to the route of challenge administration. The resistance seen in mouse strain CD-1 is of particular interest in that CD-1 is known to be resistant to endocrine disruption by estrogen. Our results suggest this estrogen insensitivity may have broad-ranging effects on processes other than gametogenesis, including vaginal susceptibility to candidiasis.

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