candidiasis

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candidiasis

(kăn'dĭdī`əsĭs), infection of the mucous membranes caused by the fungus Candida albicans. Other terms for candidiasis are yeast infection, moniliasis (after a former name of the fungal genus), and thrushthrush,
in medicine, infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans, manifested by white, slightly raised patches on the mucous membrane of the tongue, mouth, and throat. The mucous membrane beneath the patches is usually raw and bleeding.
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, the latter term usually being reserved for infection of the mucous membrane of the mouth. The fungus is a normal inhabitant of the mouth and vagina, and its growth is usually kept in check by certain bacteria that also live in these areas. When the balance of these organisms is disturbed by antibiotic treatment, by hormonal imbalances, or by a weakening of the body's resistance to disease (as occurs in AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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), the fungus can begin to proliferate. Candidiasis of the penis (usually traceable to a female with the infection) is called balanitis. Candidal infections are treated with antifungal drugs such as nystatin and miconazole.

Candidiasis

 

(also, blastodendriosis or candidosis), a disease caused by yeastlike fungi of the genus Candida. These fungi, which are widely distributed in nature, thrive on seeds, vegetables, and fruits (particularly those that are rotten). Under certain conditions, they become pathogens and cause superficial diseases of the skin (which usually run a mild course) or infections of the mucous membranes. The fungi can also cause deep infections, even in the internal organs. In particular, confectioners, workers in the fruit and vegetable industry, and employees of bath and shower facilities are exposed to candidiasis. Infection occurs through contact with someone carrying the disease or with objects that have been contaminated by the fungi.

Superficial candidiasis is primarily localized in cutaneous folds, including interdigital spaces (particularly between the fingers). The fungi cause red exzemalike lesions of various sizes, with white flaking epidermis along the edges. Candidiasis of the mucous membranes is manifested as thrush, or mycotic stomatitis. Thrush is characterized by the formation of a white, readily removed film on the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and cracks in the corners of the mouth that heal with difficulty and frequently recur. Infection of female sexual organs is accompanied by itching and leukorrhea. The disease frequently appears on nails and cuticles. Sometimes candidiasis becomes chronic and generalized. Of the internal organs, candidiasis most often infects the gastrointestinal tract (esophagitis, gastritis, enteritis, and colitis), the respiratory organs (bronchitis, pneumonia, pleuropneumonia that sometimes resemble tuberculous infiltrates), and the urinary system. Treatment of the disease includes local disinfection and the application of antiphlogistics. Antifungal antibiotics, such as nystatin or levorin, and vitamins B2, PP, B6, and C are also prescribed. Prevention can be accomplished by eliminating the conditions allowing the fungi to grow.

A. L. MASHKILLEISON

Candidiasis in animals. Infections occur in domestic fowl, cattle, swine, sheep, and dogs (usually occurring in the young). Sick animals are the source of infection. Damage resulting from candidiasis is significant, particularly if care and feeding is poor. The incubation period is 3–15 days; the most usual clinical sign is the formation of white deposits on mucous membranes. The most frequent form of the disease in animals is intestinal, causing diarrhea. For young animals the disease is acute, causing plague in 3–8 days; it is a chronic disease for adults. In cattle, candidiasis usually is manifested as mastitis. Laboratory work is crucially important in the diagnosis of the disease in animals. Treatment is successful only in minor cases (using iodine, preparations and certain antibiotics). Preventive measures include the isolation of infected animals and disinfection.

candidiasis

[‚kan·də′dī·ə·səs]
(medicine)
A fungus infection of the skin, lungs, mucous membranes, and viscera of humans caused by a species of Candida, usually C. albicans. Also known as moniliasis.