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AIDS. 1996 Aug;10(9):983-7.

Dysregulation of the polymorphonuclear leukocyte--Candida spp. interaction in HIV-positive patients.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital of Vienna, Austria.



In HIV-infected patients there is an increased frequency of fungal infections. Dysregulation of the response of phagocytic cells to fungal pathogens may be involved.


Phagocytosis of Candida spp., consecutive intracellular production of reactive oxygen species, and candicidal activity were analysed in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PML) from HIV-1-infected patients, who were at stage C3 of the 1993 revised Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classification system, by means of flow cytometry.


Phagocytic ability was assessed by measuring uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled Candida albicans, C. krusei and C. glabrata. Reactive oxygen intermediate production was estimated by the quantity of dihydrorhodamine-123 converted to rhodamine-123 intracellularly. The candicidal effect was assessed by the propidium iodide uptake of killed yeast cells.


As compared to PML of healthy, HIV-negative controls, PML of AIDS patients exhibited an increased phagocytic activity and a similar ability to generate reactive oxygen products. In contrast, PML of AIDS patients displayed a decreased candicidal activity (P < 0.05 compared to controls).


These results suggest that in patients with advanced HIV-1 infection the impairment of non-oxidative killing mechanisms of phagocytic cells may contribute to the high incidence of fungal infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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