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Agar plate culture of Candida albicans
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Candidiasis, often called yeast infection or thrush, is a type of infectious disease. It is a fungal infection (mycosis). The disease is caused by any of the Candida species of yeast. Candida albicans is the most common species.
Causes[change | change source]
Candida yeasts are common in most people. The yeast is usually controlled in the body. When the yeast grows without control, an infection happens.
Antibiotic and steroid use are the most common reason for uncontrolled yeast. Antibiotic kills some bacteria, and changes the balance of microorganisms in the body. This may allow the yeast to multiply.
Candidiasis in the throat and mouth[change | change source]
Throat[change | change source]
Esophageal candidiasis is an infection of the esophagus by Candida albicans. The disease happens in unhealthy people. Sometimes people will get the infection when they are treated with chemotherapy. People with AIDS can also get this infection more often.
One sign of esophageal candidiasis is painful swallowing. Weight loss can happen when a person has esophageal candidiasis for a long time.
Mouth[change | change source]
Signs[change | change source]
Candida may appear as thick white or cream-coloured areas on mucosal membranes. The infected mucosa of the mouth may look inflamed. In babies the condition is called thrush. For babies, it is usually painless and causes no pain. Adults may experience discomfort or burning sensation.
Body parts[change | change source]
- the mouth (oral candidiasis)
- the vagina or vulva (vaginal candidiasis or thrush)
- folds of skin in the diaper area (diaper rash)
- the nipples while breastfeeding
- the penis or foreskin
- the armpit
- the ear
- the skin around or in the nostrils
- the ears
Candidiasis is a very common cause of vaginal irritation, or vaginitis. It can also occur on the penis or scrotum. In unhealthy patients, the Candida infection can affect the esophagus. It could get everywhere in the body. This would cause a much more serious health condition, a state called candidemia. 
References[change | change source]
- Walsh TJ, Dixon DM (1996). Deep Mycoses in: Baron's Medical Microbiology (Baron S et al., eds.) (4th ed. ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. (via NCBI Bookshelf) ISBN 978-0-9631172-1-2. Archived from the original on 2010-01-18.
- Medline Plus at the U.S. National Library of Medicine Archived 13 November 2010 at WebCite
- Odds FC (1987). "Candida infections: an overview". Crit Rev Microbiol. 15: 1-5.. PMID 3319417.
- National Candida Society Article Archived 13 November 2010 at WebCite
- Medline Plus
- Wong, Jeremy (2008), Penile candidiasis - yes, yeast infection in men
- Pappas PG (2007). "Invasive candidiasis". Infect Dis Clin North Am. 20: 485-506. PMID 16984866.
- Fidel PL (2002). "Immunity to Candida". Oral Dis. 8: 69-75. PMID 12164664.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Candidiasis.|
- National Institute of Allergies and Infections fact sheet on vaginitis/vaginal infections
- Oral Thrush Mayo Clinic
- DermAtlas candidiasis images
- InteliHealth page on candidiasis Presented by InteliHealth reviewed by Harvard Medical School
- Links to pictures of Yeast Infection (Hardin MD/Univ of Iowa)
- Treating a vaginal yeast infection