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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00198

Streptococcus agalactiae inhibits Candida albicans hyphal development and diminishes host vaginal mucosal TH17 response

Xiaoyu Yu1,  Fei Fu2, Wenna Kong1, Qiankun Xuan1, Donghua Wen1, Xiaoqin Chen3, Yongmin He3, Lihua He1, Jian Guo1,  Aiping Zhou1, Yanghong Xi1, Lijun Ni1,  Yufeng Yao1* and  Wenjuan Wu1*
  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  • 2Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Shanghai East Hospital, Tong ji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  • 3Institut Pasteur of Shanghai (CAS), China

Streptococcus agalactiae and Candida albicans often co-colonize the female genital tract, and under certain conditions induce mucosal inflammation. The role of the interaction between the two organisms in candidal vaginitis is not known. In this study, we found that co-infection with S. agalactiae significantly attenuated the hyphal development of C. albicans, and that EFG1-Hwp1 signal pathway of C. albicans was involved in this process. In a mouse model of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), the fungal burden and the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ showed a dramatic increase on co-infection with S. agalactiae, while the expressions of TH17 T cells and IL-17 in the cervicovaginal lavage fluid were significantly decreased. Our results indicate that S. agalactiae inhibits C. albicans hyphal development by downregulating the expression of EFG1-Hwp1. The interaction between S. agalactiae and C. albicans may attenuate host vaginal mucosal TH17 immunity and contribute to mucosal colonization by C. albicans.

Keywords: C. albicans, S. agalactiae, Hyphal development, vaginal mucosa, Th17 response

Received: 05 Sep 2017; Accepted: 29 Jan 2018.

Edited by:

Dongsheng Zhou, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, China

Reviewed by:

Linqi Wang, Institute of Microbiology (CAS), China
Sean Zhang, Johns Hopkins Medicine, United States
Liping Zhu, Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Yu, Fu, Kong, Xuan, Wen, Chen, He, He, Guo, Zhou, Xi, Ni, Yao and Wu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Yufeng Yao, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, Shanghai, China, yfyao@sjtu.edu.cn
Prof. Wenjuan Wu, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, Shanghai, China, wwj1210@126.com