Mold in the News Series

Part 3: Candida Infections in the Brain

Cesar Collado
Dec 1, 2023

The Interaction Between Fungal Pathogens and Neural Cells

By Cesar Collado

Candida infections are a common cause of fungal infections in humans. Candida infections typically occur in areas such as the mouth, vagina, or skin.  However, recent research has shed light on the interaction between Candida and the brain. Scientists have identified specific receptors in the brain that play a role in the recognition and response to Candida pathogens.  Candida overgrowth in the body often results in many symptoms including central nervous systems or brain symptoms.

Candida Overgrowth

The discovery of Candida receptors in the brain has implications for understanding and treating neurological symptoms associated with Candida-related neurological infections.

About Candida

There are currently more than 150 known species of Candida, and approximately 20 are known to cause infections in humans. Candida albicans is the main causative agent of candidiasis and the primary fungal infection in adults and pediatric patients.  In the USA, it was reported that sepsis caused by C. albicans has a mortality rate of approximately 40%, which is higher than any other sepsis caused by bacteria or fungi. [1]

Causes of Sepsis

Candida is an Opportunistic Pathogen

Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen, which primarily affects neonates and immunocompromised individuals. The pathogen can invade the central nervous system, resulting in meningitis. [2]

1. Candida albicans are capable of crossing the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). [2]

2. Studies have shown that Candida can invade the central nervous system and cause infections such as meningitis or brain abscesses. Researchers have discovered that certain receptors expressed by neural cells in the brain, such as microglia and astrocytes, play a crucial role in recognizing and responding to Candida pathogens. These receptors, known as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), are responsible for detecting specific molecules or patterns associated with Candida, initiating an immune response.

3. Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) and Candida Recognition are now understood to be involved in Candida recognition. TLRs are present on the surface of immune cells, including those in the brain. They recognize specific components of Candida, such as fungal cell wall molecules, and trigger a signaling cascade that activates the immune response. TLRs in the brain are critical for initiating the defense mechanisms against Candida and maintaining the delicate balance between immune activation and preventing excessive inflammation.

4. Inflammatory Response and Candida-Induced Neurological Damage
Candida infections in the brain can lead to an inflammatory response, which involves the release of immune molecules and recruitment of immune cells to the site of infection. While inflammation is a crucial defense mechanism, excessive or prolonged inflammation can contribute to tissue damage and neurological complications. Understanding the interplay between Candida pathogens and the receptors in the brain can provide insights into the mechanisms of inflammation and guide therapeutic strategies to mitigate neurological damage.

Candida Receptors in the Brain: Implications for Therapeutic Strategies

The discovery of Candida receptors in the brain opens avenues for potential therapeutic interventions. By targeting these receptors or the signaling pathways associated with their activation, researchers may develop novel strategies to modulate the immune response, reduce inflammation, and enhance the clearance of Candida pathogens. This knowledge could contribute to the development of targeted therapies that specifically address Candida-related neurological infections, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

Future Directions and Challenges

While our understanding of Candida receptors in the brain has advanced in recent years, there is still much to learn. Further research is needed to unravel the complex interactions between Candida pathogens and the brain’s immune system. Additionally, identifying the precise mechanisms by which Candida evades immune recognition and establishes infection in the brain will be crucial for developing effective treatments. Collaboration between experts in microbiology, immunology, and neuroscience will be essential to further explore these areas.

Conclusions

The identification of Candida receptors in the brain represents a significant advancement in our understanding of the pathogenesis and immune response to Candida-related neurological infections. The interplay between Candida pathogens and neural cells through these receptors opens new avenues for therapeutic interventions.

Unique to Candida, the source of the candida is often the people in the home.  This does not dismiss the need to eradicate and remove mold, fungi, yeasts and their remains.  BioBalance provides multiple means including the use of HavenMist to quickly mist your home interior or Havenfog to saturate the home air volume and conducting a small particulate clean-up for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in removing fungi from your home.

  Haven Mist

Small Particulate Clean up

While specific treatment for candida infections is limited.  The tried-and-true strategies of starving the fungi, maintaining a balanced microbiome, and rinsing sinuses have all proven to be effective in managing candida overgrowth.

Sinugator Agrumax

References

  1. Macias-Paz, Ignacio Uriel. Et. al. “Candida albicans the main opportunistic pathogenic fungus in humans” Argentinian Microbiology Journal. August 3, 2022
  2. Jong AY. Et.al. “Traversal of Candida albicans across human blood-brain barrier in vitro.” Infectious Immunology. Jul, 2001
  3. Liu Y, et.al “Mechanisms of Candida albicans trafficking to the brain.” PLoS Pathog. 2011 Oct;7(10)
  4. Snarr BD, et. al. “It’s all in your head: antifungal immunity in the brain.” Current Opinions in Microbiology. Aug 2020.
  5. Inflammation Volume 13 – 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.1077335
  6. Wu, Chuyu . “The roles of fungus in CNS autoimmune and neurodegeneration disorders.”  Frontiers in Immunology. 26 January 2023.

 

"Toxic Mold in the News" Series publishing weekly starting mid-November 2023.

Headline News

Toxic Mold in the News Part 1:

Mold in the News Series Introduction

November 17, 2023

Headline News

Toxic Mold in the News Part 2:

Fungal Infections Are a Growing Concern

November 24, 2023

Headline News

Toxic Mold in the News Part 3:

Candida Infections in the Brain

December 1, 2023

Headline News

Toxic Mold in the News Part 4:

Fungal Brain Infections

December 8, 2023

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 5:

The Link Between Mold Illness and Alzheimer’s

December 15, 2023

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 6:

2023 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

December 22, 2023

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 7:

Common Plant Fungus Cross Species to Humans

December 29, 2023

Product Recalls

Toxic Mold in the News Part 8:

Product Recalls Due to Mold

January 5, 2023