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candidiasis(kăn'dĭdī`əsĭs), infection caused by fungi of the genus Candida; also called moniliasis after a former name of the genus. The most common forms of candidiasis, caused by C. albicans, are infections of the mucous membranes of the mouth (also known as 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.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and of the vagina and often the vulva (also known as yeast infection). The fungus C. albicans 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.
..... Click the link for more information. ), the fungus can begin to proliferate. Candidiasis of the penis (usually traceable to a female with the infection) is called balanitis. Candidal infections are most often treated topically with antifungal drugs such as clotrimazole, nystatin and miconazole, but oral or intravenous antifungal drugs are prescribed when the infection does not respond to topical treatments.
Invasive candidiasis, a more serious infection, occurs most commonly when Candida fungi invade the bloodstream. Hospital and nursing home patients, such as those with a central venous catheter, in an intensive care unit, with weakened immune system, or taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, are most likely to develop invasive candidiasis. Antifungal medications may be prescribed prophylactically to patients who are likely to develop invasive candidiasis. An invasive infection is typically treated by an echinocandin administered intravenously.
C. auris, another species that causes invasive candidiasis, typically infects the bloodstream, wounds, or the ear, and especially affects individuals with weakened immune systems. First identified in Japan in 2009, it is of concern because most forms of the fungus are drug resistant and some are multidrug resistant; additionally, infection can be difficult to identify from its primary symptoms of fever, aches, and fatigue. It has caused outbreaks in health-care settings, where it can be difficult to eradicate.
(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.