Another nice article on candida and oral health. Antibiotics disrupt the mucus membrane by destroying mucin proteins found in the cells, leaving the epithelial cells vulnerable to fungal candida and its many enzymes. This study discusses one approach candida uses.
"One such example is the fungus Candida albicans. The harmless commensal form exists as a small single-celled organism, but when the immune system is compromised, Candida elongates into an invasive form, characterized by long filaments called hyphae, that causes a pervasive infection called oral candidiasis, or "thrush."
Oral epithelial cells (OECs), which are part of the mucous membrane lining the inside of the mouth, are the first cells in the body to encounter Candida. They ignore the yeast until it begins to grow hyphae, at which point the OECs stimulate helper T cells to produce IL-17.
"To use a Game of Thrones analogy: the oral epithelial cells form a protective 'wall' that keeps the marauding Candida invaders at bay. Patrolling the wall are the helper T cells, which use IL-17 as their weapon to protect the kingdom," said the paper's first author, postdoctoral fellow Akash Verma, Ph.D."