Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. II. Class and subclass of specific antibody responses in vivo and in vitro

Clin Exp Immunol. 1996 Aug;105(2):213-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1996.d01-765.x.


Patients with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC) succumb to persistent infections with the opportunistic yeast Candida. Impaired cell-mediated responses to Candida have been repeatedly reported while antibody responses were mostly found to be normal. The underlying defect remains poorly understood. It has recently been shown that CMC patients are also susceptible to infections with encapsulated bacteria, and may have associated IgG2 and IgG4 deficiency. Our previous studies demonstrated altered cytokine production in CMC patients. As cytokines can influence production and isotype of specific antibody, in 10 patients with CMC we measured the levels and isotype distribution of serum antibodies to Candida antigens (CAg), pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPS) and tetanus toxoid (TT) antigens. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were also stimulated in culture and the antibodies made in vitro were measured. Our data demonstrated that in vivo, CMC patients had very high levels of IgG and IgA CAg-specific antibodies. CAg-specific and PPS-specific IgG1 was markedly higher than in controls. Children but not adults with CMC had significantly lower levels of IgG2-specific antibody to CAg and PPS compared with age-matched controls. Patients had significantly higher levels of IgG3-specific antibody to all three antigens tested. These findings were in accordance with increased total IgG and IgG3 levels seen in CMC patients. In vitro, CMC patients, particularly children, did not respond as frequently to antigen stimulation as did their healthy controls. The level of specific antibody produced was also lower to all antigens tested, as was the amount of total immunoglobulins following antigenic and particularly mitogenic stimulation. Addition of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) or IFN-gamma to cultures had variable, sometimes marked, effects. Our results demonstrate that CMC patients manifest subtle alterations in specific antibody responses to CAg, PPS and TT, which are most pronounced in children. This may relate to altered cytokine production also seen in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood*
  • Antigens, Fungal / immunology*
  • Candida albicans / immunology*
  • Candidiasis, Chronic Mucocutaneous / immunology*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin M