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 ResearchResearch AreasImmunology and Innate DefensesEdgerton     April 21, 2014  

Immunology and Innate Defenses

MIRA EDGERTON, DDS, PhD personal profile

Innate immunity

Oral candidiasis, a superficial mucosal infection in which Candida albicans is the predominant species isolated from infected areas, has become an increasing health issue. Incidence of oropharyngeal candidiasis has risen dramatically in the past twenty years due to increased antibiotic and pharmaceutic drug use and longer survival of people with compromised immune systems and cancer patients. Oropharyngeal candidiasis is so frequently associated with AIDS that it is a criterion for staging progression of disease.

Increased use of azole and polyene drugs to treat candidiasis in AIDS and cancer patients has resulted in emergence of Candidal species with antifungal drug resistance, especially to azole-based drugs. Mortality from systemic C. albicans infections in immunocompromised patients is nearly thirty percent, even with aggressive treatment with antifungal drugs. These data point to a pressing need for improved drug therapies or means of enhancing innate immune mechanisms in immunocompromised and cancer patients.

Another area of Dr. Edgerton's research is available at Saliva and Salivary Glands