Hwp1 is required for full virulence in an animal model of gut translocation candidiasis.
C57BL/6 mice were fed C. albicans in their drinking water to establish GI colonization followed by immunosuppression to induce neutropenia and intestinal mucosa damage. (A) Gut colonization levels are independent upon HWP1 expression. Colonization levels in mice were assessed by measuring the fungal burden in the stools (CFU/g) of individual mice. Mean CFU/g of stool of mice fed SCH1211 (n=8) or HR615 (n=7) were not statistically different relative to SC5314 (WT, n=7). (B) Survival of mice post immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide. Mice colonized with the hwp1 null strain SCH1211 were less virulent relative to SC5314 (P=0.003). Single expression of HWP1 (HR615) did not restore wild type survival kinetics in mice (P=0.035), although none of the mice colonized with HR615 survived to the end of the observation period. C. albicans was recovered from the livers of all the mice at the time of sacrifice (data not shown), indicating translocation from the GI tract.