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Intrauterine Candida albicans infection elicits severe inflammation in fetal sheep.

  • Author(s): Payne, Matthew S
  • Kemp, Matthew W
  • Kallapur, Suhas G
  • Kannan, Paranthaman Senthamarai
  • Saito, Masatoshi
  • Miura, Yuichiro
  • Newnham, John P
  • Stock, Sarah
  • Ireland, Demelza J
  • Kramer, Boris W
  • Jobe, Alan H
  • et al.


Preventing preterm birth and subsequent adverse neonatal sequelae is among the greatest clinical challenges of our time. Recent studies suggest a role for Candida spp. in preterm birth and fetal injury, as a result of their colonization of either the vagina and/or the amniotic cavity. We hypothesized that intraamniotic Candida albicans would cause a vigorous, acute fetal inflammatory response.


Sheep carrying singleton pregnancies received single intraamniotic injections of either saline (control) or 10(7) colony-forming units C. albicans 1 or 2 d prior to surgical delivery and euthanasia at 124 ± 2 d gestation.


Colonization of the amniotic cavity by C. albicans resulted in a modest inflammatory response at 1 d and florid inflammation at 2 d, characterized by fetal thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, and significant increases of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines in the fetal membranes skin, lung, and the amniotic fluid.


Acute colonization of the amniotic cavity by C. albicans causes severe intrauterine inflammation and fetal injury. C. albicans is a potent fetal pathogen that can contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes.

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