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Denis M. O’Day, W. Steven Head, Csilla Csank, Debra J. Shetlar, Richard D. Robinson, Gary W. McCollum, Rong Yang, Tian L. Zhu, Ming X. Wang; Differences in Virulence between Two Candida albicans Strains in Experimental Keratitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(5):1116-1121.
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purpose. To study the differences in disease caused by two wild-type strains of Candida albicans in a model of contact lens–facilitated
keratitis in rabbits.
methods. Two strains, SC5314 and VE175, were examined. Standardized inocula were
placed on the débrided corneal surface of one eye in Dutch belted
rabbits and covered with a contact lens. A temporary tarsorrhaphy was
opened after 24 hours with removal of the contact lens. Six days later,
corneas were photographed and animals killed. Corneas were bisected
with one half for quantitative isolate recovery and the other for
stromal penetration by hyphae.
results. Strain SC5314 was significantly more virulent. The mean hyphal
penetration into the cornea was 24.4% ± 8.5% of the corneal
thickness, and in three of six corneas hyphae penetrated through the
entire cornea. In contrast, for VE175, the mean hyphal penetration was
2.6% ± 1.2%. The difference between these two strains was
statistically significant (P = 0.0297). Hyphae did
not penetrate into the deep layers of the cornea in any of the six
rabbits infected with VE175. The grading of clinical disease was
consistent with histology, in that strain SC5314 caused more severe
infection than VE175 and the difference was statistically significant
(P = 0.0048). There was no difference in isolate
conclusions. Wild-type strains of C. albicans can differ
significantly in virulence as measured by depth of fungal invasion into
corneas and clinical evaluation of infection. Further characterization
of the intrinsic genetic differences between such strains may help
identify factors responsible for fungal
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