Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a fungal infection due to any type of Candida (a type of yeast).[4] When it affects the mouth, in some countries it is commonly called thrush.[3] Signs and symptoms include white patches on the tongue or other areas of the mouth and throat.[3] Other symptoms may include soreness and problems swallowing.[9] When it affects the vagina, it may be referred to as a yeast infection or thrush.[2][10] Signs and symptoms include genital itching, burning, and sometimes a white "cottage cheese-like" discharge from the vagina.[11] Yeast infections of the penis are less common and typically present with an itchy rash.[11] Very rarely, yeast infections may become invasive, spreading to other parts of the body.[12] This may result in fevers along with other symptoms depending on the parts involved.[12]

Candidiasis
Other namesCandidosis, moniliasis, oidiomycosis[1]
Oral candidiasis (thrush)
SpecialtyInfectious disease
SymptomsWhite patches or vaginal discharge, itching[2][3]
CausesCandida (a type of yeast)[4]
Risk factorsImmunosuppression (HIV/AIDS), diabetes, corticosteroids, antibiotic therapy[5]
MedicationClotrimazole, nystatin, fluconazole[6]
Frequency6% of babies (mouth)[7] 75% of women at some time (vaginal)[8]

More than 20 types of Candida can cause infection with Candida albicans being the most common.[13] Infections of the mouth are most common among children less than one month old, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.[5] Conditions that result in a weak immune system include HIV/AIDS, the medications used after organ transplantation, diabetes, and the use of corticosteroids.[5] Other risks include dentures, following antibiotic therapy, and breastfeeding.[5][14] Vaginal infections occur more commonly during pregnancy, in those with weak immune systems, and following antibiotic use.[15] Individuals at risk for invasive candidiasis include low birth weight babies, people recovering from surgery, people admitted to intensive care units, and those with an otherwise compromised immune system.[16]

Efforts to prevent infections of the mouth include the use of chlorhexidine mouthwash in those with poor immune function and washing out the mouth following the use of inhaled steroids.[6] Little evidence supports probiotics for either prevention or treatment, even among those with frequent vaginal infections.[17][18] For infections of the mouth, treatment with topical clotrimazole or nystatin is usually effective.[6] Oral or intravenous fluconazole, itraconazole, or amphotericin B may be used if these do not work.[6] A number of topical antifungal medications may be used for vaginal infections, including clotrimazole.[19] In those with widespread disease, an echinocandin such as caspofungin or micafungin is used.[20] A number of weeks of intravenous amphotericin B may be used as an alternative.[20] In certain groups at very high risk, antifungal medications may be used preventatively.[16][20]

Infections of the mouth occur in about 6% of babies less than a month old.[7] About 20% of those receiving chemotherapy for cancer and 20% of those with AIDS also develop the disease.[7] About three-quarters of women have at least one yeast infection at some time during their lives.[8] Widespread disease is rare except in those who have risk factors.[21]


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