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15.2.1: Candida albicans

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    42670
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    (Some of the following text is reused from Kaiser Microbiology)

     

    clipboard_eb25969b2891e93bda2a8300ba7f7edc6.png

    "The oral fungal pathogen Candida albicans (red) produce hyphae that allow attachment of another fungus Candida glabrata (green)" by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Organism

    •  Candida albicans is a single-celled fungus that has two morphologies: yeast and hyphae (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\))

    clipboard_eff86daef32be8403f01ed31a0ce4f9bf.png

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): A photomicrograph of Candida albicans . Adapted from original image sourced from US Government department: Public Health Image Library, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under US law this image is copyright free, please credit the government department whenever you can”." by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is marked with CC0 1.0

    Habitat

    • Candida albicans is found as normal flora on the mucous membranes and in the gastrointestinal tract, but is usually held in check by normal flora bacteria and normal body defenses.

    Source

    • C. albicans infections are usually endogenous (from the person's own flora), but some nosocomial infections can be exogenously acquired by contact with another infected individual or transfer via contaminated objects or health professionals

    Epidemiology

    • Candida can cause a variety of opportunistic infections in people who are debilitated, immunosuppressed, or have received prolonged antibacterial therapy. Women who are diabetic, pregnant, taking oral contraceptives, or having menopause are also more prone to vaginitis. These conditions alter the sugar concentration and pH of the vagina making it more favorable for the growth of Candida. People who are immunosuppressed frequently develop thrush, vaginitis, and sometimes disseminated infections.
    • Candida causes about 5% of all nosocomial infections

    Clinical Disease

    • Any Candida infection is called candidiasis. Candida most commonly causes vaginitis , thrush (an infection of the mouth; Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\)), balantitis (an infection of the foreskin and head of the penis), onychomycosis (an infection of the nails), and dermatitis (diaper rash and other infections of moist skin), which are usually treatable with antifungal medications. Less commonly, Candida can cause life-threatening infections of the lungs, blood, heart, and meninges, especially in the compromised or immunosuppressed host. Candida now causes about 10% of all cases of septicemia. Candidiasis of the esophagus, trachea, bronchi, or lungs, in conjunction with a positive HIV antibody test, is one of the indicator diseases for AIDS.
    • Drug resistance recently became a notable problem with Candida auris, but drug resistance in C. albicans is rare
    Thrush
    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Thrush (AJC1 licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

    Virulence

    • Candida is only virulent in its hyphal form, not in its yeast form

    15.2.1: Candida albicans is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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