Mouth and urinary tract bacterial and fungal flora were studied in a group of selected neoplastic patients, to demonstrate clinically inapparent infections. In the same patients, assays of leukocyte function (phagocytic and microbicidal activity), nitro blue tetrazolium reduction, some serum characteristics (natural bactericidal activity and immunoglobulin levels) and skin responsiveness to intracutaneous tuberculin were performed. The population studied consisted of 20 gastrointestinal and 20 pulmonary cancer patients (10 on cytostatic treatment and 10 untreated in both groups) and of 10 control subjects, chosen by predetermined selective criteria. The results show a high prevalence of: asymptomatic fungal infections in all cancer groups; urinary tract bacterial infections among gastrointestinal neoplasias; bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract in the pulmonary cancer groups. All groups of cancer patients showed a significant impairment of serum bactericidal activity and P.M.N. phagocytic capacity. The relations of the proinfective effect of such defects in early stages of neoplastic disease to the observed high prevalence of asymptomatic infections are analyzed. The impairment of cutaneous responsiveness to tuberculin is discussed with regard to the prevalence of latent fungal infections in our study. It is doubtful whether the improved N.B.T. reduction frequently observed in cancer patients should be related to asymptomatic bacterial infections or to an unspecific stimulation of blood P.M.N. by circulating substances of neoplastic origin.
|Translated title of the contribution||Neoplastic pathology and inapparent infections: a study on the modifications of the bacterial and fungal flora and on their correlations with some indexes of the natural immunity|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Giornale di Malattie Infettive e Parassitarie|
|Publication status||Published - 1975|
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