Candida and candidiasis in HIV-infected patients: Where commensalism, opportunistic behavior and frank pathogenicity lose their borders
Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy. AIDS (London, England)
(Impact Factor: 5.55).
03/2012; 26(12):1457-72. DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283536ba8
In this era of efficacious antiretroviral therapy and consequent immune reconstitution, oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis (OPC and OEC) still remain two clinically relevant presentations in the global HIV setting. Both diseases are predominantly caused by Candida albicans, a polymorphic fungus which is a commensal microbe in the healthy individual but can become an aggressive pathogen in a debilitated host. Actually, C. albicans commensalism is not the result of a benign behavior of one of the many components of human microbiota, but rather the result of host's potent innate and adaptive immune responses that restrict the growth of a potentially dangerous microrganism on the epithelia. An important asset guarding against the fungus is the Th17 functional subset of T helper cells. The selective loss of these cells with the progression of HIV infection causes the decay of fungal containment on the oral epithelium and allows C. albicans to express its pathogenic potential. An important part of this potential is represented by mechanisms to evade host immunity and enhance inflammation and immunoactivation. In C. albicans, these mechanisms are mostly incorporated into and expressed by characteristic morphogenic transitions such as the yeast-to-hyphal growth and the white-to-opaque switch. In addition, HIV infection generates an 'environment' selecting for overexpression of the virulence potential by the fungus, particularly concerning the secreted aspartyl proteinases (Saps). These enzymes can degrade critical host defense components such as complement and epithelial defensive proteins such as histatin-5 and E-cadherin. It appears that part of this enhanced Candida virulence could be induced by the binding of the fungus to HIV and/or induced by HIV proteins such as GP160 and tat. Both OPC and OEC can be controlled by old and new antimycotics, but in the absence of host collaboration, anticandidal therapy may become ineffective in the long run. For these reasons, new therapeutics targeting virulence factors and specific immune interventions are being addressed. Among these new approaches, vaccination is a promising one. Two subunit vaccines based on antigens dominantly expressed by C. albicans in vivo, that is the Als3 adhesin and Sap2, have recently undergone phase 1 clinical trials. Overall, studies of Candida and candidiasis in the HIV-positive patient while certainly contributing to a more effective control of the microorganism may also provide useful information on HIV-host relationship itself that can assist the fight against the virus.
Available from: Vera Cavalcanti Araújo
- "Even with the great prevalence of periodontal diseases, this specific condition could not be related to any of the infectious diseases, once patients presented a poor oral health, reinforced by the lack of oral health care in hospitals. Moreover, candidiasis has been considered as one of most prevalent lesions associated with systemic disorders, with ranges varying from 5 to 92% [11, 12]. This fact could be related to many factors such as the presence of Candida in oral cavity in healthy conditions  and the opportunistic nature of this yeast, being associated with severe immunosuppression, in special, the pseudomembranous type . "
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of oral lesions in infectious-contagious diseases patients being treated in the University Hospital of the Federal University of Pará, northern Brazil. One hundred seven patients with infectious diseases were clinically investigated for oral lesions at the University Hospital of Pará, northern Brazil. From total sample, most patients were men (65.7%) with a mean age of 45.4 years. About prevalence of systemic diseases, tuberculosis was the most frequent illness, followed by AIDS, hepatitis types B and C, leishmaniasis, and meningitis. Analyzing oral manifestations, periodontal diseases and candidiasis were the most prevalent diseases in both genders, followed by recurrent aphthous ulcers, saburral tongue, simplex herpes, and squamous cell carcinoma. Of all 107 patients, only 10 males and 6 females did not present any oral manifestation. There was no statistical difference between genders with any systemic condition (
). The great prevalence of oral manifestations in hospitalized patients with systemic disorder emphasizes the need of integral dental care in this context, aiming at a multidisciplinary approach of patients. Therefore, presence of some oral conditions, such as candidiasis, should be an alert to different systemic conditions, once in assistance with physicians; dentists can influence the early diagnosis and treatment.
Available from: Sheila M Keating
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ABSTRACT: From early in the HIV epidemic it was appreciated that many inflammatory markers such as neopterin and TNF-α were elevated in patients with AIDS. With the advent of modern technology able to measure a broad array of cytokines, we now know that from the earliest points of infection HIV induces a cytokine storm. This review will focus on how cytokines are disturbed in HIV infection and will explore potential therapeutic uses of cytokines. These factors can be used directly as therapy during HIV infection, either to suppress viral replication or prevent deleterious immune effects of infection, such as CD4+ T cell depletion. Cytokines also show great promise as adjuvants in the development of HIV vaccines, which would be critical for the eventual control of the epidemic.
Available from: PubMed Central
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