We previously showed that surface mannans of Candida albicans function as adhesins during yeast cell attachment to mouse splenic marginal zone macrophages. The mannan adhesin fraction was encapsulated into liposomes and used to vaccinate mice over a 5- to 6-week period. Circulating agglutinins specific for the fraction correlated with increased resistance to disseminated candidiasis. Antiserum from vaccinated animals protected naive BALB/cByJ mice against C. albicans serotype A and B strains and Candida tropicalis. Antiserum also protected SCID mice against disseminated disease. The serum protective ability was stable at 56 degrees C, but this ability was adsorbed by C. albicans cells. The antiserum was divided into three fractions after separation by high-performance liquid chromatography. One fraction contained all of the agglutinin activity and transferred resistance to naive mice. A second fraction also transferred resistance. Two monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for candidal surface determinants were obtained. MAb B6.1 is specific for a mannan epitope in the adhesin fraction, and MAb B6 is specific for a different epitope in the fraction. Both MAbs are immunoglobulin M, and both strongly agglutinate candidal cells, but only MAb B6.1 protected both normal and SCID mice against disseminated candidiasis. In one experiment, 10 normal mice were given MAb B6.1 and challenged with yeast cells. Six mice survived the 67-day observation period; 4 of the survivors were cured as evidenced by the lack of CFU in the kidney and spleen. Our studies show that antibodies against certain cell surface antigens of C. albicans help the host resist disseminated candidiasis
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