I recently came across a Blog article by Tracey Vlahovic in the American Podiatry Today, October 2015 discussing injecting Candida Albicans into verrucae and warts. This intriguing was using yeast to initiate an immune response to eradicate the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Tracey had previously co-written and published article on this subject which featured in the Journal of American Podiatric Medical Association (JAPMA). She undertook a study based on injecting the viral verrucae of 80 patients with the candida antigen. There was a 65% success rate. She felt that by combining this injection therapy with other treatment modalities it significantly increased resolution rates.
The concept of injecting verrucae with an antigen to trigger an immune response is not new. The Journal European Academy Dermatology Venereology 2010 published: Intralesional immunotherapy of common warts: successful treatment with mumps, measles and rubella vaccine. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of injecting recalcitrant common warts with the MMR vaccine. The study included 135 patients with single or multiple recalcitrant or non-recalcitrant common warts. They were randomly assigned to two groups; the first group (85 patients) received intralesional MMR vaccine, and the second group (50 patients) received intralesional saline as a control group. Both treatments were injected into single lesions or largest wart in case of multiple lesions at 2-week intervals until complete clearance or for a maximum of five treatments. Follow-up was made every 2 months for 6 months to detect any recurrence.
The results were impressive with complete clearance in 80% of patients, demonstrating that immune-therapy could be a safe and effective way forward for treating viral verrucae. Since the publish of that paper and this recent article injecting ‘yeast’ into verrucae there has been little to no mention of immunotherapy in the world of UK podiatry. The use of intradermal injection therapy for viral verrucae and warts is more commonly used and discussed in the dermatology world. In a 2011 published study by Eassa BIet al entitled: Intradermal injection of PPD as a novel approach of immunotherapy in anogenital warts in pregnant women; a purified protein derivative (PPD) extract of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was injected into anogenital warts of pregnant women. It proved to be 85% successful. Again, another example of using injectables to mediate an immune response.
What fascinates me, referring back to using Candida Albicans to treat viral warts, is that I often have patients who present with verrucae, Athlete’s Foot and nasty yeast infected nails! All co-existing and thriving nicely together. Maybe I need to agitate them all, ‘rub their heads together’ to mediate an immune response? Unfortunately, any patient who is immune- compromised in the first place immunotherapy won’t work, as nothing mediates an immune response. There is also the risk of triggering an actual Candida Albicans infection. Candida is often passed around the body through the bloodstream. More research needs to be done. For the time being I will stick to my tried and tested verrucae eradicating methods like the Swift.
- Signore RJ. Candida albicans intralesional injection immunotherapy of warts. Cutis. 2002; 70(3):185-92.
- Vlahovic T, Spadone S, Dunn SP, et al. Candida albicans immunotherapy for verrucae plantaris. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2015; 105(5):395-400.
- Clifton MM, Johnson SM, Roberson PK, et al. Immunotherapy for recalcitrant warts in children using intralesional mumps or Candida antigens. Pediatr Dermatol. 2003; 20(3):268-71.
- Eassa BI, Abou-Bakr AA, El-Khalawany MA. Intradermal injection of PPD as a novel approach of immunotherapy in anogenital warts in pregnant women. Dermatol Ther 2011; 24 :137-143.
- Mohamed El-Khalawany et al. Immunotherapy of viral warts: myth and reality Egyptian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology 2015, 35:1–13