A piglet model for studying Candida albicans colonization of the human oro-gastrointestinal tract

Jennifer L. Hoeflinger, David A. Coleman, Soon Hwan Oh, Michael J. Miller, Lois L. Hoyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pigs from a variety of sources were surveyed for oro-gastrointestinal (oro-GIT) carriage of Candida albicans. Candida albicans-positive animals were readily located, but we also identified C. albicans-free pigs. We hypothesized that pigs could be stably colonized with a C. albicans strain of choice, simply by feeding yeast cells. Piglets were farrowed routinely and remained with the sow for 4 days to acquire a normal microbiota. Piglets were then placed in an artificial rearing environment and fed sow milk replacer. Piglets were inoculated orally with one of three different C. albicans strains. Piglets were weighed daily, and culture swabs were collected to detect C. albicans orally, rectally and in the piglet's environment. Stable C. albicans colonization over the course of the study did not affect piglet growth. Necropsy revealed mucosally associated C. albicans throughout the oro-GIT with the highest abundance in the esophagus. Uninoculated control piglets remained C. albicans-negative. These data establish the piglet as a model to study C. albicans colonization of the human oro-GIT. Similarities between oro-GIT colonization in humans and pigs, as well as the ease of working with the piglet model, suggest its adaptability for use among investigators interested in understanding C. albicans-host commensal interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS microbiology letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Commensalism
  • Fungus
  • Host-microbe interaction
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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