Fungal infection in cerebrospinal fluid from some patients with multiple sclerosis

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Jun;32(6):795-801. doi: 10.1007/s10096-012-1810-8. Epub 2013 Jan 16.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the prototypical inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and spinal cord, leading to axonal demyelination of neurons. Recently, we have found a correlation between fungal infection and MS in peripheral blood of patients. The present work provides evidence of fungal infection in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of some MS patients. Thus, fungal antigens can be demonstrated in CSF, as well as antibodies reacting against several Candida species. Comparison was made between CSF and blood serum for the presence of fungal antigens (proteins) and antibodies against different Candida spp. Analyses of both CSF and serum are complementary and serve to better evaluate for the presence of disseminated fungal infection. In addition, PCR analyses indicate the presence of DNA from different fungal species in CSF, depending on the patient analyzed. Overall, these findings support the notion that fungal infection can be demonstrated in CSF from some MS patients. This may constitute a risk factor in this disease and could also help in understanding the pathogenesis of MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood
  • Antibodies, Fungal / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood
  • Antigens, Fungal / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Candida / classification
  • Candida / genetics
  • Candida / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / blood
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / microbiology*
  • Mycoses / blood
  • Mycoses / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antigens, Fungal