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Candidiasis

A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. There are over 20 species of Candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans, the most common of which is Candida albicans.

Candida yeasts normally live on the skin and mucous membranes without causing infection; however, overgrowth of these organisms can cause symptoms to develop. Symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the area of the body that is infected.

Candidiasis that develops in the mouth or throat is called "thrush" or oropharyngeal candidiasis. Candidiasis in the vagina is commonly referred to as a "yeast infection."

Invasive candidiasis occurs when Candida species enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Miconazole versus miconazole plus living preparation of lactobacillus for vulvovaginal candidiasis: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Cui L, Wang C, Fu J, Xie LX, Hu LN.  Miconazole versus miconazole plus living preparation of lactobacillus for vulvovaginal candidiasis: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2010; 10(1): 89-93

Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence

BACKGROUND: Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) remains a challenge to manage in clinical practice. Recent epidemiologic studies indicate that non-albicans Candida spp. are more resistant to conventional antifungal treatment with azoles and are considered as causative pathogens of vulvovaginal candidiasis.

The use of mannan antigen and anti-mannan antibodies in the diagnosis of invasive candidiasis: recommendations from the Third European Conference on Infections in Leukemia

INTRODUCTION: Timely diagnosis of invasive candidiasis (IC) remains difficult as the clinical presentation is not specific and blood cultures lack sensitivity and need a long incubation time. Thus, non-culture-based methods for diagnosing IC have been developed. Mannan antigen (Mn) and anti-mannan antibodies (A-Mn) are present in patients with IC. On behalf of the Third European Conference on Infections in Leukemia, the performance of these tests was analysed and reviewed.

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Summaries for consumers

Interventions for treating oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving treatment

Cancer treatment can lead to severe fungal infections (candidiasis, called thrush) in the mouth. This can cause pain, difficulties in eating and longer hospital stays. Infection can sometimes spread through the body and become life‐threatening. Different drugs are used to try and relieve candidiasis. There is insufficient evidence that any of the antifungal drugs may cure fungal infections in the mouth for people with cancer and more research is needed.

Topical treatment for vaginal candidiasis (thrush) in pregnancy

Imidazoles are best but pregnant women may need longer (7 not 4 day) courses. Thrush is a common vaginal infection in pregnancy causing itching and soreness. There is no evidence that this yeast infection harms the baby. Antifungal creams are effective. Imidazoles (such as clotrimazole) are more effective than older treatments such as nystatin and hydrargaphen. Longer courses (7 days) cured more than 90% of women whereas standard (4 day) courses only cured about half the cases.

Interventions for preventing oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving treatment

There is strong evidence that some antifungal drugs prevent oral candidiasis (thrush) caused by cancer treatment, but nystatin does not appear to work.

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More about Candidiasis

Photo of an adult

Also called: Candida infection, Candida albicans infection, Candidosis, Thrush

See Also: Vaginal Candidiasis

Other terms to know:
Mucosa (Mucous Membranes)

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