Neutrophiles in action

Burn wound infection model of candidiasis published


Major skin barrier loss, slow healing potential and lowered immune function make the burn wound a prime site for infection by microorganisms. In the last decades the incidence of fungal burn wound infections, such as those with Candida spp., has increased dramatically. Burn wound infection candidiasis is difficult to diagnose and can lead to sepsis with very high mortality rate in the infected patients. Despite the severity of burn wound candidiasis it remains unknown whether this process is driven by a weakened immune system or by Candida itself. Scientists of the group Host Fungal Interfaces, Dr. Christin von Müller, Fionnuala Bulman, Lysett Wagner and Dr. Slavena Vylkova, have established an ex vivo burn wound infection model of candidiasis using human skin explants as an alternative to animal models. Using this model, they showed prominent invasion of the fungus Candida albicans into 2nd degree burn wounds. However, this infection is kept in check by neutrophils, a certain type of immune cells found in the skin explant. Further invasion of the fungus is prevented and the wound area is decreased over time. Taken together, C. albicans infection of inflicted burn wounds using ex vivo human burn skin explants is well controlled by an active immune response, which promotes wound healing.


von Müller C, Bulman F, Wagner L, Rosenberger D, Marolda A, Kurzai O, Eißmann P, Jacobsen ID, Perner B, Hemmerich P, Vylkova S. (2020) Active neutrophil responses counteract Candida albicans burn wound infection of ex vivo human skin explants. Sci Rep. 10(1): 21818. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78387-y.

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