Author(s): De Bernardis F, Boccanera M, Adriani D, Spreghini E, Santoni G,
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Abstract The role of antibodies (Abs) in the resistance to vaginal infection by Candida albicans was investigated by using a rat vaginitis model. Animals receiving antimannoprotein (anti-MP) and anti-aspartyl proteinase (Sap) Ab-containing vaginal fluids from rats clearing a primary C. albicans infection showed a highly significant level of protection against vaginitis compared to animals given Ab-free vaginal fluid from noninfected rats. Preabsorption of the Ab-containing fluids with either one or both proteins MP and Sap sequentially reduced or abolished, respectively, the level of protection. A degree of protection against vaginitis was also conferred by postinfectious administration of anti-Sap and anti-MP monoclonal antibodies (provided the latter were directed against mannan rather than protein epitopes of MP) and by intravaginal immunization with a highly purified, polysaccharide-free Sap preparation. Postinfectious administration of pepstatin A, a potent Sap inhibitor, greatly accelerated the clearance of C. albicans from rat vagina. No anti-MP or anti-Sap Abs were elicited during a C. albicans vaginal infection of congenitally athymic nude rats. Although they were as able as their euthymic counterparts to clear the primary infection, these animals did not show increased resistance to a rechallenge, demonstrating that induction of anticandidal protection in normal rats was a thymus-dependent Ab response. Overall, our data strengthen the concept that Abs against some defined Candida antigens are relevant in the mechanism of acquired anticandidal protection in vaginitis. The T-cell dependence of this protection may also provide a link between cell-mediated and humoral immunity in vaginal infection.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination