The Effects of Opium Addiction on the Immune System Function in Patients with Fungal Infection

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Professor, Tropical and Infectious Disease Research Center AND Department of Medical Mycology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Professor, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Lecturer, Department of Laboratory Sciences, School of Medicine, Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran

5 Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran


Background: The use of narcotics such as opium exposes addicts as susceptible targets of different diseases so that they might easily be exposed to different diseases such as fungal infections. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of addiction to opium and fungal infection on plasma levels of certain cytokines including interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-6, IL-17, Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β).Methods: Present study included 72 individuals who were divided into 4 groups: 1) opium-addicted with fungal infection; 2) opium-addicted without fungal infection; 3) non-opium-addicted with fungal infection; and 4) normal individuals (non-opium-addicted and non-fungal infection). The fungal samples, after being detected and confirmed by a physician, were prepared based on clinical symptoms and then analyzed by direct smear and culture method. The measurement of the plasma level of cytokines was done by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method.Findings: The comparison of the mean of the plasma level of cytokines showed that addiction to opium and fungal infection had significant effect on the plasma levels of IL-17, IFN-γ, TGF-β cytokines in all studied groups. The interaction of addiction to opium and fungal infection was only significant in the case of plasma level of IL-6.Conclusion: Addiction to opium and fungal infection, either separately or simultaneously, poses significant effect on the immune system and causes disorders in the cytokine network and the immune system and also provides a suitable environment for fungal infection.


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