Roorkee: The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT-R) on Tuesday said that its researchers have demonstrated that vaccination using a fungal strain protein can protect against systemic candidiasis (C tropicalis) infection in a mice model.
Systemic candidiasis refers to a spectrum of infections affecting blood, heart, eyes, brain and bones, among others. Common symptoms of the disease include fever and chills that do not improve with antibiotics.
Candidemia can also cause septic shock and therefore may be associated with symptoms such as low blood pressure, fast heart rate and rapid breathing.
According to an estimate, it accounts for 6.51 cases per 1,000 ICU admissions that is equivalent to 90,000 cases in India.
“Due to a progressive shift towards non-albicans Candida species and the emergence of antifungal drug resistance, systemic candidiasis infections caused by Candidatropicalis species are a matter of concern, especially in tropical countries,” Soma Rohatgi, chief author and Assistant Professor at IIT Roorkee, said in a statement.
“As such, developing vaccines and alternative immunotherapies is of paramount importance,” Rohatgi added.
The researchers have shown that Sap2-parapsilosis vaccination can improve mice survival during candidiasis by means of humoral and cellular immunity. The study also demonstrated that higher amounts of Sap2-specific antibodies are beneficial during systemic candidiasis.
“A subunit vaccine candidate can prove effective due to a variety of reasons,” said study lead author Manisha Shukla from IIT Roorke.
Their study, published in the American Society for Microbiology journal Infection and Immunity will pave the way for future studies in the development of anti-Candida vaccines.