Purpose: There is evidence for the immunomodulation disorders in the response to intestinal flora in inflammatory bowel disease, however, the role of yeasts in the aetiopathogenesis of ulcerative colitis has not been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to assess the serum concentration of interleukin 10 (IL-10), serum levels of anti-mannan Candida antibodies and fungal colonization of the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract in accordance with the clinical course of ulcerative colitis.
Material/methods: In 42 consecutive patients with ulcerative colitis serum concentration of IL-10 and anti-mannan Candida antibodies serum levels were measured with ELISA and the quantitative and qualitative fungal cultures of stool samples were performed.
Results: In 20 patients IL-10 serum concentration was below the test sensitivity and in 11 patients it ranged between 0.78 and 9.43 (mean 3.38 +/- 2.8) pg/mL. Anti-mannan Candida antibodies were detected in 8 subjects (19.04%). Stool cultures revealed significant fungal colonization in 3 (8.33%) patients with the predominance of Candida albicans. In comparison with mild/moderate UC, IL-10 serum concentration was not higher in patients with severe course of the disease.
Conclusions: The results of our study show that IL-10 serum concentration correlates neither with the disease activity nor with the levels of anti-mannan Candida antibodies and the fungal colonization of the gastrointestinal tract in ulcerative colitis. It seems that IL-10 serum concentration cannot be a universal marker for the assessment of ulcerative colitis activity. Moreover, anti-mannan Candida antibodies and significant fungal colonization are present in the minority of patients with ulcerative colitis suggesting that yeasts have minor, if any, influence on the clinical course of the disease.