The impact of caspase-12 on susceptibility to candidemia.


Candida is one of the leading causes of sepsis, and an effective host immune response to Candida critically depends on the cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which need caspase-1 cleavage to become bioactive. Caspase-12 has been suggested to inhibit caspase-1 activation and has been implicated as a susceptibility factor for bacterial sepsis. In populations of African descent, CASPASE-12 is either functional or non-functional. Here, we have assessed the frequencies of both CASPASE-12 alleles in an African-American Candida sepsis patients cohort compared to uninfected patients with similar predisposing factors. African-American Candida sepsis patients (n = 93) and non-infected African-American patients (n = 88) were genotyped for the CASPASE-12 genotype. Serum cytokine concentrations of IL-6, IL-8, and IFNγ were measured in the serum of infected patients. Statistical comparisons were performed in order to assess the effect of the CASPASE-12 genotype on susceptibility to candidemia and on serum cytokine concentrations. Our findings demonstrate that CASPASE-12 does not influence the susceptibility to Candida sepsis, nor has any effect on the serum cytokine concentrations in Candida sepsis patients during the course of infection. Although the functional CASPASE-12 allele has been suggested to increase susceptibility to bacterial sepsis, this could not be confirmed in our larger cohort of fungal sepsis patients.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Rosentul, DC, TS Plantinga, WK Scott, BD Alexander, NMD van de Geer, JR Perfect, BJ Kullberg, MD Johnson, et al. (2012). The impact of caspase-12 on susceptibility to candidemia. European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 31(3). pp. 277–280. 10.1007/s10096-011-1307-x Retrieved from

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Barbara Dudley Alexander

Professor of Medicine

Clinical research related to infectious complications of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, with a particular interest in the treatment and rapid diagnosis of fungal disease. Training the next generation of Transplant Infectious Disease Physicians is a special focus of mine as the Principal Investigator of our Interdisciplinary T32 Training Program funded the NIH. 


John Robert Perfect

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Research in my laboratory focuses around several aspects of medical mycology. We are investigating antifungal agents (new and old) in animal models of candida and cryptococcal infections. We have examined clinical correlation of in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing and with in vivo outcome. Our basic science project examines the molecular pathogenesis of cryptococcal infections. We have developed a molecular foundation for C. neoformans, including transformation systems, gene disruptions, differential gene expression screens, and cloning pathogenesis genes. The goal of this work is to use C. neoformans as a model yeast system to identify molecular targets for antifungal drug development. There are a series of clinical trials in fungal infections which are being coordinated through this laboratory and my work also includes a series of antibiotic trials in various aspects of infections. Finally, we have now been awarded a NIH sponsored Mycology Unit for 5 years with 6 senior investigators which is focused on C. neoformans as a pathogenic model system, but will include multiple areas of medical mycology from diagnosis to treatment.


Melissa DePaoli Johnson

Professor in Medicine

Prognostic indicators for patients with Candida spp. bloodstream infections
Antifungal pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics
Immunogenetics among patients with candidiasis
Management of the HIV infected patient and antiretroviral pharmacotherapy
Antibacterial drug utilization, resistance, and appropriate prescribing
Antimicrobial Stewardship

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