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Adv Dent Res. 2006 Apr 1;19(1):80-4.

Candida-host interactions in HIV disease: relationships in oropharyngeal candidiasis.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112-1393, USA.


Oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) caused by the commensal organism, Candida albicans, is the most common oral infection in HIV disease. Although cell-mediated immunity (CMI) by Th1-type CD4+ T-cells is considered the predominant host defense mechanism against OPC, other systemic or local immune mechanisms are critical when blood CD4+ T-cells are reduced below a protective threshold. For example, the Th cytokine profile in saliva may influence resistance or susceptibility to OPC. In OPC lesions, CD8+ T-cells become accumulated at the lamina propria-epithelium interface, suggesting some role for CD8+ T-cells against OPC. However, the absence of CD8+ T-cells close to Candida at the outer epithelium indicates that susceptibility to OPC involves a dysfunction in the CD8+ T-cells or in the micro-environment. Further evaluation of the buccal mucosa lesion showed that CD8 T-cell-associated cytokine and chemokine mRNA is increased compared with buccal mucosa from lesion-negative matched controls. The majority of CD8+ T-cells present possess the alphabeta T-cell receptor and several homing receptors (i.e., 4beta7, 4beta1, ebeta7). While several adhesion molecules are similar in OPC+ vs. OPC- persons, E-cadherin is reduced in the tissue of OPC+ persons. These results support evidence for a role for CD8+ T-cells against OPC, but suggest that a putative dysfunction in mucosal T-cell trafficking may be associated with susceptibility to infection. Similar levels of Candida-specific antibodies in persons with and without OPC confirmed a limited role for humoral immunity. Finally, oral epithelial cells inhibit the growth of Candida in vitro in a static rather than a cidal manner. Clinically, oral epithelial cell anti-Candida activity is reduced in HIV+ persons with OPC, compared with controls. The mechanism of action includes a strict requirement for cell contact by an acid-labile moiety on intact, but not necessarily live, epithelial cells, with no role for soluble factors. Taken together, host defense against OPC involves several levels of activity. The status and efficiency of local host defenses when blood CD4+ T-cells are not available appear to play a role in protection against or susceptibility to OPC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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