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Intra-amniotic Candida albicans infection induces mucosal injury and inflammation in the ovine fetal intestine.

  • Author(s): Nikiforou, Maria;
  • Jacobs, Esmee MR;
  • Kemp, Matthew W;
  • Hornef, Mathias W;
  • Payne, Matthew S;
  • Saito, Masatoshi;
  • Newnham, John P;
  • Janssen, Leon EW;
  • Jobe, Alan H;
  • Kallapur, Suhas G;
  • Kramer, Boris W;
  • Wolfs, Tim GAM
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1038/srep29806
Abstract

Chorioamnionitis is caused by intrauterine infection with microorganisms including Candida albicans (C.albicans). Chorioamnionitis is associated with postnatal intestinal pathologies including necrotizing enterocolitis. The underlying mechanisms by which intra-amniotic C.albicans infection adversely affects the fetal gut remain unknown. Therefore, we assessed whether intra-amniotic C.albicans infection would cause intestinal inflammation and mucosal injury in an ovine model. Additionally, we tested whether treatment with the fungistatic fluconazole ameliorated the adverse intestinal outcome of intra-amniotic C.albicans infection. Pregnant sheep received intra-amniotic injections with 10(7) colony-forming units C.albicans or saline at 3 or 5 days before preterm delivery at 122 days of gestation. Fetuses were given intra-amniotic and intra-peritoneal fluconazole treatments 2 days after intra-amniotic administration of C.albicans. Intra-amniotic C.albicans caused intestinal colonization and invasive growth within the fetal gut with mucosal injury and intestinal inflammation, characterized by increased CD3(+) lymphocytes, MPO(+) cells and elevated TNF-α and IL-17 mRNA levels. Fluconazole treatment in utero decreased intestinal C.albicans colonization, mucosal injury but failed to attenuate intestinal inflammation. Intra-amniotic C.albicans caused intestinal infection, injury and inflammation. Fluconazole treatment decreased mucosal injury but failed to ameliorate C.albicans-mediated mucosal inflammation emphasizing the need to optimize the applied antifungal therapeutic strategy.

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