Background: Intracellular aspartic proteinase A enzyme is expressed by the APR1 gene and is one of the important factors in the development of systemic candidiasis caused by Candida albicans.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of the APR1 gene in C. albicans isolates obtained from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and from controls.
Patients and methods: The samples were obtained from 135 MS patients with candidiasis and 100 matched controls of healthy individuals during 2010 - 2011. The clinical and control isolates of C. albicans obtained from individuals were cultured onto sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA). The evaluation of APR1 gene expression was performed using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference in APR1 gene expression of C. albicans strains between MS patients (mean ± SD: 0.5208 ± 0.11518) and the control group (mean ± SD: 0.7603 ± 0.11405) (P = 0.000). Significant correlations were found between the APR1 gene expression of C. albicans strains from MS patients with regard to age and the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) (P = 0.000). The mean values of EDSS were 1.6074 ± 0.1081 after antifungal treatment and 2.2519 ± 0.1323 before antifungal treatment (P = 0.000). No significant correlation was observed between the APR1 gene expression with regard to sex and MS subtypes.
Conclusions: The results suggested that APR1 gene expression in C. albicans strains isolated from MS patients may be an important factor for invasive C. albicans strains in the progression of MS disease.
Keywords: APR1 Gene; Candida albicans; Expanded Disability Status Scale; Multiple Sclerosis; RT-PCR.