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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Sep;29(9):1139-45. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-0979-y. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Association between multiple sclerosis and Candida species: evidence from a case-control study.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.


Candida infection among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients has not been studied in depth. We determined whether there is an association between serological evidence of Candida infection and MS. Blood specimens were obtained from 80 MS patients and 240 matched controls. Immunofluorescence analysis and ELISA were used to detect Candida species antibodies and slot-blot to detect antigens. Using immunofluorescence analysis, moderate to high concentrations of serum antibodies to Candida famata were present in 30 (37.5%) MS patients vs. 30 (12.5%) controls (p < 0.001). Results for Candida albicans were 47.5% (38/80) in MS patients vs. 21.3% (51/240) in controls (p < 0.001), for Candida parapsilosis 37% (28/80) vs. 17.1% (41/240) (p < 0.001) and for Candida glabrata 46.3% (37/80) vs. 17.5% (42/240) (p < 0.001), respectively. After adjusting for age and gender, the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for MS, according to the presence of Candida antigens were: 2.8 (0.3-23.1, p = 0.337) for Candida famata; 1.5 (0.7-3.4, p = 0.290) for Candida albicans; 7.3 (3.2-16.6, p < 0.001) for Candida parapsilosis; and 3.0 (1.5-6.1, p = 0.002) for Candida glabrata. The results were similar after excluding ten patients on immunosuppressants. The results of this single study suggest that Candida species infection may be associated with increased odds of MS.

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