Ex vivo infection models of Candida albicans

Major skin barrier loss, slow healing potential and impaired immune function make the burn wound a prime site for infection by microorganisms. Candida albicans is the fungal organism frequently isolated from human burn wound infections. In certain circumstances, these infections can lead to sepsis.

In this regard, we aim to understand the basis of wound infection with single and mixed pathogenic species, including C. albicans, by using several parallel approaches: 1) use of human skin cell culture lines to observe in vivo interaction with C. albicans; 2) establishment of ex vivo human skin explants burn wound infection model; 3) tests of burn wound candidiasis using a rat model of infection.

(A) We have established an ex vivo burn wound model of candidiasis using human skin explants. (B) Histological analysis revealed neutrophil infiltration to the site of damage/infection, which contributes to tissue healing and control of C. albicans infection (purple color = neutrophil elastase).