Candida (genus)

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Candida
Candida albicans.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Subphylum: Ascomycotina
Class: Ascomycetes
Order: Saccharomycetales
Family: Saccharomycetaceae
Genus: Candida
Berkh., 1923
Species

C. albicans
C. dubliniensis
C. glabrata
C. guilliermondii
C. kefyr
C. krusei
C. lusitaniae
C. milleri
C. oleophila
C. parapsilosis
C. tropicalis
C. utilis

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Overview

Candida is a genus of yeasts. Clinically, the most significant member of the genus is Candida albicans, which can cause numerous infections (called candidiasis or thrush) in humans and other animals, especially in immunocompromised patients.[1] Various Candida species are members of gut flora in animals, including C. albicans.

The last decade has seen the sustained medical importance of opportunistic infections due to different Candida species mainly due to the worldwide increase in the number of immunocompromised patients, who are highly susceptible to opportunistic infections [2]. Meanwhile, the genome sequence of several Candida species has been completed, enabling the detailed investigation of some aspects of their biology with the aid of post-genomic approaches. The basic knowledge gained from these investigations of pathogenic Candida, and related yeasts, can translate into innovations in the development of novel antifungal therapies, original approaches for targeted immuno-interventions, or highly sensitive diagnosis of fungal infections [2].

Laboratory characteristics

Grown in the laboratory, Candida appears as large, round, white or cream (albicans is from Latin meaning 'whitish') colonies on agar plates.[3]

Clinical characteristics

Candida species are responsible for superficial infections such as oropharyngeal candidiasis (thrush) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (vaginal Candidiasis). These infections can be cured with antifungal medications, but they do represent a concern in AIDS patients.

Candida are also responsible for a number of life-threatening opportunistic infections in AIDS patients and other immunocompromised people - including patients treated in intensive care units (ICUs), cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, and organ transplant patients[2].

Another common Candida infection is oral candidiasis caused by acrylic dentures, especially in elderly denture wearers.[4] Colonization of the gastrointestinal tract by C. albicans may result from taking antacids or antihyperacidity drugs. This colonization may interfere with absorption of Coenzyme Q10.[5]

Species

Among Candida species, C. albicans, which can also be a commensal of the skin and the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts, is responsible for the majority of Candida bloodstream infections (candidemia). Yet, there is an increasing incidence of infections caused by C. glabrata, which could be due to the fact that it is frequently less susceptible to the currently used azole antifungals. Other medically important Candida species include C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, and C. dubliniensis [2]

Other Candida species, such as C. oleophila have been used as biological control agents in fruit.[6]

Other

Alternative medicine practitioners often use the term Candida to refer to a complex with broad spectrum of symptoms, the majority of which center around gastrointestinal distress, rashes, sore gums and other miscellaneous symptoms. This diagnosis is considered incorrect by mainstream medicine.[7]

References

  1. Ryan KJ; Ray CG (editors) (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed. ed.). McGraw Hill. ISBN 0838585299.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 dEnfert C; Hube B (editors) (2007). Candida: Comparative and Functional Genomics. Caister Academic Press. ISBN 9781904455134.
  3. "Candida species". DoctorFungus.org. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  4. Darwazeh A, Lamey P, Samaranayake L, MacFarlane T, Fisher B, Macrury S, MacCuish A (1990). "The relationship between colonisation, secretor status and in-vitro adhesion of Candida albicans to buccal epithelial cells from diabetics". J Med Microbiol. 33 (1): 43–9. PMID 2231671.
  5. Krone C, Elmer G, Ely J, Fudenberg H, Thoreson J (2001). "Does gastrointestinal Candida albicans prevent ubiquinone absorption?". Med Hypotheses. 57 (5): 570–2. PMID 11735312.
  6. "Efficacy of Candida oleophila strain 128 in preventing Penicillium Expansum infection in apricot fruit". Acta Hort. ISHS. 485: 141–148. 1999.
  7. "Factsmart.org".

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