Fungal infection in a patient with multiple sclerosis

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Oct;30(10):1173-80. doi: 10.1007/s10096-011-1206-1. Epub 2011 May 1.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, whose causes are still unknown. We have proposed that MS, as well as some ophthalmologic diseases, are associated with fungal infection. In the present study, we closely monitored a patient with MS over a three-year period. Antibodies against different Candida spp. were detected in peripheral blood serum, although the titer of these antibodies fluctuated. The presence of fungal macromolecules, such as proteins, polysaccharides, and DNA, was also tested. In several sera samples, antigens related to C. famata were evidenced by the slot-blot test using a rabbit polyclonal antibody against these species, while high levels of β-1,3 glucan were detected with the commercial Fungitell assay. Despite the variations by sample, we concluded that all fungal macromolecules, that is, proteins, polysaccharides, and DNA, were present in blood from the MS patient which was analyzed. Several fungal species were identified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by sequencing. Antibodies against Candida spp. as well as C. famata-related antigens were also detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Our findings provide support for the notion that disseminated mycosis is present in this patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood
  • Candida / chemistry
  • Candida / classification
  • Candida / genetics
  • Candida / immunology*
  • Candidiasis / diagnosis*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Candidiasis / pathology*
  • DNA, Fungal / blood
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • beta-Glucans / blood


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antigens, Fungal
  • DNA, Fungal
  • beta-Glucans
  • beta-1,3-glucan