Oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) is the most common oral infection in HIV+ persons. Previous studies suggest a role for CD8+ T-cells against OPC when CD4+ T-cells are lost, but enhanced susceptibility to infection occurs when CD8+ T-cell migration is inhibited by reduced tissue E-cadherin.
Conduct a longitudinal study of tissue CD8+ T-cells and E-cadherin expression before, during, and after episodes of OPC.
Oral fungal burden was monitored and tissue was evaluated for CD8+ T-cells and E-cadherin over a one-year period in HIV+ persons with a history of, or an acute episode of OPC.
While longitudinal analyses precluded formal interpretations, point prevalence analyses of the dataset revealed that when patients experiencing OPC were successfully treated, tissue E-cadherin expression was similar to patients who had not experienced OPC, and higher numbers of CD8+ T-cells were distributed throughout OPC− tissue under normal expression of E-cadherin.
These results suggest that 1) reduction in tissue E-cadherin expression in OPC+ patients is not permanent, and 2) high numbers of CD8+ T-cells can be distributed throughout OPC− tissue under normal E-cadherin expression. Together these results extend our previous studies and continue to support a role for CD8+ T-cells in host defense against OPC.