The etiology of Crohn's disease (CD), an autoimmune, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which affects approximately one million people in Europe, is still unclear. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted that CD could result from an inappropriate inflammatory response to intestinal microorganisms in a genetically susceptible host. Most studies to date have concerned the involvement of bacteria in disease progression. In addition to bacteria, there appears to be a possible link between the commensal yeast Candida albicans and disease development. In this review, in an attempt to link the gut colonization process and the development of CD, we describe the different pathways that are involved in the progression of CD and in the host response to C. albicans, making the yeast a possible initiator of the inflammatory process observed in this IBD.
Keywords: Antigens; inflammation; innate/adaptive immune response; pathogen associated molecular patterns.