Respiratory secretions provide an efficient method for protecting the large surface area of the lower respiratory tract. To determine whether lung secretions contribute to antifungal defences, murine bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BLF) was tested for anti-candidal activity against 49 oral and vaginal isolates belonging to six different species. The yeasts were incubated in unconcentrated, cell-free lavage fluid from Sprague-Dawley rats and then cultured quantitatively to measure residual viability. Experiments with indicated that sensitivity to BLF increased in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This activity was heat-stable (56°C) and consistent, irrespective of whether the BLF was derived from rats inoculated (orally) with Candida or the uninoculated controls. Of the spp. examined, was the most susceptible followed by and , whereas and were highly resistant. However, there were differences in susceptibility to BLF among different isolates within a given species. These results indicate that a heat-stable, soluble factor(s) in murine lavage fluid may suppress candidal colonisation of the lower respiratory tract and contribute to the defence mechanisms of the lungs.


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