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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.
Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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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