TWO WEEKS OF CHRONIC UNPREDICTABLE STRESS ARE SUFFICIENT TO PRODUCE ORAL CANDIDIASIS IN BALB/C MICEMOHAMMAD HASSAN HALAWI, WISSAM YASSINE, ROUDAINA NASSER, HODA YUSEF, JAMILAH BORJAC, TAREQ AL SAGHEER AND ZAHER ZEAITER
The incidence of oral infections caused by Candida species with diverse virulence and susceptibility profiles has increased in recent years. Due to scarce clinical and experimental data on the ability of stress to induce oral candidiasis, the aim of this study was to assess the impact of stress on oral candidias is in healthy BALB/c mice and compare its effect to other predisposing factors of oral candidiasis. Immunocompetent and immunocompromised BALB/c female mice were orally infected with C. albicans. A total of four groups of mice each receiving a different treatment were screened. Treatments included antibiotics, corticosteroids and chronic unpredictable stress. Oral tissue colonization and infection was inspected and evaluated comparatively in each group. Tissue burden on day 14 post challenge was measured and mice tongues were inspected for white patches and studied histo-pathologically for evidence of colonization or infection. The induced stress model was able to result in oral colonization and infection without the use of antibiotics or immuno-suppressants. Moreover, the fungal burden was significantly greater in stressed group than that in groups receiving antibiotics treatment or control group. Histopathological examination revealed the abundant presence of C. albicans cells with pseudo-hyphae and in the yeast form, in all tongue tissue samples of treated mice. Tissues were intact in the control group and Candida cells count was significantly lower in the treated unstressed group. White patches were significantly more dominant in stressed group than non-stressed and control group. In conclusion, stress maybe a more potent predisposing factor than the use of antibiotics in inducing oral candidiasis, although being a weaker factor than the combined use of antibiotics and corticosteroids together.