Introduction: Phagocytic activity and oxygen metabolism of peripheral blood granulocytes from rabbits with experimental trichophytosis were assessed by flow cytometry.
Material and Methods: Virulent species of T. mentagrophytes var. granulosum (Tm-K) isolated from rabbits with natural trichophytosis was used for experimental infection. The phagocytic activity of granulocytes was measured in whole blood by flow cytometry using the commercial Phagotest kit. Oxidative burst was measured in whole blood by flow cytometry using the commercial Bursttest kit.
Results: It was found that rabbits were susceptible to infection with Trichophyton mentagrophytes under experimental conditions. The analysis of the phagocytic activity indices and oxygen metabolism of granulocytes in peripheral blood of infected rabbits showed that changes of the indices were connected with the progression and regression of the disease. A significant decrease in phagocytic activity and oxygen metabolism was observed during development of fungal lesions and it remained similar throughout the progress of the disease. The highest means of the percentage of activated and ingesting phagocytes and a significant increase in the mean fluorescence intensity (representing the number of ingested bacteria) were observed during spontaneous recovery. Therefore, the decrease or increase in the indices of phagocytic activity and oxygen metabolism of granulocytes from rabbits experimentally infected with T. mentagrophytes is somehow related to the progress of infection and suppressive activity of the fungus, whose elimination during recovery caused significant increases in investigated indices of non-specific cellular immunity.
Conclusion: The results of the present investigation confirm that the mechanism of oxygen-dependent killing is crucial in infections caused by T. mentagrophytes.