This study shows that malnourished children have impaired candidacidal activity of leucocytes, a finding which runs parallel to the higher rates of isolation of Candida sp. from throat secretions. In well nournished subjects the mean candidacidal ability was 44.5% in the moderately undernourished group it was 17.6%, and in the severely malnourished group it was 13.7%. This impaired candidacidal capacity may be important in the establishment of large numbers of Candida sp. which are commonly found in the upper intestine and in the pathogenesis of diarrhoea in children with malnutrition.
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