Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name




First Advisor

Dr. Judith Lumb


Interest in Candida albicans as an opportunistic pathogen has increased due to the complications that this microorganism causes in cancer patients and other immunosuppressed individuals. Recent advances in immunology have led to a focus on cell mediated immunity which is of prime importance in host resistance to infection. The present research was initiated to study the effects of C. albicans extracts on mouse splenic lymphocyte cultures obtained from inbred mice infected with C. albicans. Aside from being a commensal organism harbored in the oral, vaginal, and gastrointestinal tract, C. albicans is a potential pathogen and causes different disease states varying in severity from superficial to disseminated infections. When the body's immune response are depressed, the yeast can disseminate from mucosal foci.

Several parameters were investigated in order to arrive at a set of conditions for induction of delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice and its measurement in the in vitro lymphocyte transformation assay. Both living yeast and soluble antigen were used to induce delayed-type hypersensitivity. The conditions for tissue culture were varied including lymphocyte concentration and source or serum supplement. Other variables included the length of time in culture and the type of medium and antibiotics employed. The antigens of C. albicans included mannan polysaccharide prepared in a new manner by protease digestion, and soluble proteins. Other C. albicans extracts were tested such as a ribosomal fraction. The results obtained helped to define a set of conditions for lymphocyte transformation in mice with special reference to the inbred AKR mouse.

It was of interest to determine the degree of lymphocyte transformation elicited by Candida antigens in an inbred mouse model. Based on the experience gained in the present research, future attempts should be made to superimpose C. albicans infection on leukemic mice and to measure their lymphocyte responses with Candida extracts which are potent elicitors of delayed-type hypersensitivity.

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