High levels of oral yeasts in early HIV‐1 infection

Carolyn A. Tylenda, Janne Larsen, Chih‐Ko ‐K Yeh, H. Clifford Lane, Philip C. Fox.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Ten human immunedeficiency virus‐1 (HIV‐1) infected homosexual or bisexual individuals (ages 24–45) with no history of opportunistic infection were examined, by culture, for the presence of yeasts in whole saliva and on oral mucosa. All were HIV‐1 antibody‐positive men, non‐smokers, non‐denture wearers, and taking no medication. The mean salivary level of yeast was four logs higher in the HIV‐1 infected group compared to a control group of normal, unmedicated, non‐smoking men (ages 20–41) who denied any risk behavior for HIV‐1 infection. Identification of the yeast in these HIV‐1 positive individuals established that Canida albicans was the predominant species found in whole saliva and on buccal mucosa and tongue. Distinct hyphae were observed with only one mucosal sample. No significant correlation was found between whole saliva yeast concentration and the T4/T8 lymphocyte ratios or absolute number of T4 cells. No correlation was observed between oral yeast concentration and anti‐C. albicans IgA titers. The high level of oral yeast in these individuals prior to the development of opportunistic infections is consistent with the suggestion that oral defense mechanisms are compromised in individuals following HIV‐1 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology & Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Candida albicans
  • HIV infection: yeasts, oral
  • candidiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics


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