Oral candidiasis: pathogenesis and host defense

Rev Infect Dis. Jan-Feb 1984;6(1):96-106. doi: 10.1093/clinids/6.1.96.


Oral candidiasis is a common problem, frequently presenting as a chronic recurring infection. Oral infection is a potential reservoir of organisms for severe, spreading, local disease and systemic disease in the compromised host. Nonspecific local oral factors in host defense include the epithelial barrier, flow or saliva, microbial interactions, antimicrobial constituents of saliva, lysozyme, lactoferrin, the lactoperoxidase system, levels of iron, and salivary glycoproteins. Immunoglobins are present in saliva, but their role is poorly understood. The activity of antibody against Candida on oral mucosal surfaces may not be mediated by complement and phagocyte activity. Specific antibodies against Candida may function by aggregating the organisms and preventing mucosal adherence of the fungi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Candida albicans
  • Candidiasis, Oral / immunology*
  • Candidiasis, Oral / microbiology
  • Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Hormones / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Iron / physiology
  • Lactoferrin / physiology
  • Lactoperoxidase / physiology
  • Mouth Mucosa / physiology
  • Muramidase / physiology
  • Saliva / physiology


  • Glycoproteins
  • Hormones
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Iron
  • Lactoperoxidase
  • Muramidase
  • Lactoferrin