Experimental Oral Candidiasis in Healthy and Imunocompromised BALB/c Mice


MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.45, no.2, pp.336-343, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.336-343
  • Keywords: Candida albicans, oral candidiasis, animal model, immune system, VIRULENCE, COLONIZATION, ALBICANS, INFECTION, TONGUE, MODEL
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Oral candidiasis which is the most common type of Candida infections affecting humans, is most frequently caused by C.albicans. Immune response of the host, as well as a variety of virulence factors of the causative agent, play important roles in the development of Candida infections. The colonization rate of Candida in the oral cavity of healthy individuals, is between 25-30%, however, this rate is reported to be increased in immunosuppressive subjects. In our study, we established an oral candidiasis model with C.albicans in healthy and experimentally immunocompromised mice and aimed to compare Candida colonization rates and histopathological changes occurred in the tongue and esophagus tissues of the animal groups. A total of 21 BALB/c mice were grouped as control (Group 1; n= 7), healthy (Group 2; n= 7) and immunocompromised (Group 3; n= 7) groups. Imunosuppression in mice was performed by subcutaneous injection of prednisolone. For experimental oral candidiasis, cotton swab impregnated with C.albicans strains which did not have acid proteinase and phospholipase enzyme activity, no biofilm production, and sensitive to fluconazole and amphotericin B, were used. In the control group, physiological saline solution was used instead of C.albicans strain. In the forth day of experimental oral candidiasis model swab samples taken from the dorsal tongue surface of mice were evaluated by quantitative cultivation method. No yeast colonies were detected in Group 1 while more significant number of yeast colonies were observed in Group 3 compared to Group 2 (p= 0.002). Tongue and esophagus tissues of mice were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid schiff staining and evaluated in terms of inflammatory response, abscess formation, vascular congestion, vasodilation and for the presence of yeast and hyphae. When the inflammation in esophagus was considered, statistically significant difference was determined between group 1 and group 3 (p= 0.023), however, no difference was detected between group 2 and 3 (p= 0.107). The level of inflammation in tongue tissue exhibited no difference between groups 2 and 3 (p= 0.317) while the difference was significant when these groups were compared to the control group (p= 0.00, p= 0.002, respectively). Similarly, the level of congestion in tongue tissue exhibited no difference between groups 2 and 3, however, the difference was significant when compared to the control group. To enlighten the relation between host immune status and oral candidiasis caused by C. albicans, further larger-scale studies also concerning the various virulence factors of the infectious agent, should be conducted by the use of experimental animal models which may successfully guide us in this regard.