Candidiasis or thrush is a fungal infection (mycosis) of any of the Candida species (all yeasts)?

February 13th, 2012 by Emily

Question: Candidiasis or thrush is a fungal infection (mycosis) of any of the Candida species (all yeasts)?
of which Candida albicans is the most common. Also commonly referred to as a yeast infection, candidiasis is also technically known as candidosis, moniliasis, and oidiomycosis.

Candidiasis encompasses infections that range from superficial, such as oral thrush and vaginitis, to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases. Candida infections of the latter category are also referred to as candidemia and are usually confined to severely immunocompromised persons, such as cancer, transplant, and immunodeficiency patients as well as non-trauma emergency surgery patients.

Superficial infections of skin and mucosal membranes by Candida causing local inflammation and anguish are common in many human populations. While clearly attributable to the presence of the opportunistic pathogens of the genus Candida, candidiasis describes a number of different disease syndromes that often differ in their causes and outcomes.

Candidiasis might be divided into the following types:

Oral candidiasis (Thrush)
Perl├Ęche (Angular cheilitis)
Candidal vulvovaginitis (vaginal yeast infection)
Candidal intertrigo
Diaper candidiasis
Congenital cutaneous candidiasis
Perianal candidiasis
Candidal paronychia
Erosio interdigitalis blastomycetica
Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis
Systemic candidiasis
Candidid
Antibiotic candidiasis (Iatrogenic candidiasis)

Most candidial infections are treatable and result in minimal complications such as redness, itching and discomfort, though complication might be severe or fatal if left untreated in certain populations. In immunocompetent persons, candidiasis is usually a very localized infection of the skin or mucosal membranes, including the oral cavity (thrush), the pharynx or esophagus, the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary bladder, or the genitalia (vagina, penis).

Candidiasis is a very common cause of vaginal irritation, or vaginitis, and can also occur on the male genitals. In immunocompromised patients, Candida infections can affect the esophagus with the potential of becoming systemic, causing a much more serious condition, a fungemia called candidemia.

Thrush is commonly seen in infants. It is not considered abnormal in infants unless it lasts longer than a couple of weeks.

Children, mostly between the ages of three and nine years of age, can be affected by chronic mouth yeast infections, normally seen around the mouth as white patches. However, this is not a common condition.

Symptoms of candidiasis might vary depending on the area affected. Infection of the vagina or vulva might cause severe itching, burning, soreness, irritation, and a whitish or whitish-gray cottage cheese-like discharge, often with a curd-like appearance. These symptoms are also present in the more common bacterial vaginosis. In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, only 33 percent of women who were self-treating for a yeast infection actually had a yeast infection, while most had either bacterial vaginosis or a mixed-type infection. Symptoms of infection of the male genitalia include red patchy sores near the head of the penis or on the foreskin, severe itching, or a burning sensation. Candidiasis of the penis can also have a white discharge, even though uncommon.

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