Acquired Immunity to Pathogenic Fungi.
Annual progress rept. 1 Sep 76-Jun 77,
WISCONSIN UNIV HOSPITALS MADISON
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Many fungi are capable of causing serious and even fatal infections in normal individuals and in debilitated patients. The problem is especially serious with patients undergoing cytotoxic, immunosuppressive or broad spectrum antibiotic therapy. Fungal infections cause a large loss of man hours for the u.S. Army, their treatment is poor, prolonged, and they are difficult to eradicate completely. This is especially true for the dermatophytes. Suppression of in vitro Blastogenesis by Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Experimental primary dermatophyte infections of guinea piga are subacute, usually resolving in 3 to 4 weeks. Experiments were designed to correlate in vitro lymphocyte transformation with fungal growth and elimination from the skin. An inverse relationship between mitogenic activity and the number of viable skin fungi was observed. Colony forming units increased during the first two weeks after infection and then decreased as the lesion cleared. Spleen and lymph node lymphocytes were cultured in vitro with mitogens and specific dermatophyte antigens. Mitogenci activity decreased markedly over the first two weeks of infection and then returned toward normal during lesion resolution. Dermatophyte antigen specific blastogenesis was not observed until day 21, and only in lymph node lymphocyte cultures. These results suggest a compartmentalized depletion of reactive lymphocytes from lymphoid organs during early infection and repopulation during resolution.
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