and share stdsandyou.com with your online friends.
Candida Albicans - The Fungi That Cause Yeast Infections
aka Candida Yeast Infection
All yeast infections are caused by a member of the Candida genus.
This group of microorganisms are a part of the yeast family, and so are classified as fungi.
There are over 1500 known members of the yeast family, and 44 different members of the Candida family alone.
The vast majority of mammalian yeast infections are caused specifically by Candida albicans, but there are four other major contributors as well. These are Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis and Candida dubliniesis.
The yeasts that causes infections are not even in the same family as the yeast that goes into bread and alcohol.
Baker's yeast is classified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and does not like the environment in your body. You'll never get a yeast infection from it.Use a simple 5 step system to kill your yeast infection and be completely symptom free in 12 hours - Ad
The Desired Living Environment of Candida Yeast Infections
Candida, like all yeasts, use organic compounds as a source of energy.
They don't require sunlight to grow or live.
In addition, they often don't require much oxygen, either, although they can't live entirely without it.
They thrive in damp, moist, slightly acidic places with plenty of sugar.
Sugar, in this instance, refers to a variety of substances, not just the sweet stuff. Starches and alcohol are both examples of complex sugars that candida can easily feed on. Of course, it's happy to get the simple sugars too, such as sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (dairy sugar).
In addition, people who have metabolic problems such as diabetes may inadvertently provide candida yeasts with excessive amounts of glucose, another sugar on which it can easily feed.
Yeasts thrive best in a neutral or slightly acidic pH environment, so anything that alters pH levels in the body can give Candida the environment it needs to thrive.
The Reproductive Characteristics of Candida Yeast Infection
Members of the Candida family usually live quite quietly as normal flora in your intestines.
Under normal circumstances, they're single-celled beings that divide to reproduce.
However, if given the opportunity Candida can change its reproductive tendencies quite quickly and become a multicelled invasive organism in no time. It does this by shifting from cellular division to multicellular budding.
Long chains of immature daughter cells start linking off of the core mature cell, creating the distinctive branching pattern that doctors look for when diagnosing a yeast infection.
When you go in for a diagnosis, the doctor will take a swab of the infected area, put it on a slide and place a drop of potassium hydroxide solution as a dye. The dye will spread through the area and show the aforementioned branches if an infection is caused by Candida.
If no branching is seen, then the infection is due to something else such as an overgrowth of bacteria or infection by a virus.
Given that Candida can be found in its normal unicellular state in perfectly healthy people, it is not considered a problem until it changes growth pattern to the quick, invasive multicellular mode.
Therefore, any candida yeast infection will show the typical whitish to whitish grey plaques or curd-like discharge.
This white stuff is the product of the multicellular branch network growing over a given area, and can occur on any skin or mucous membrane.
Skin and mucous membrane infection are not considered serious, life threatening problems because the fungus can't get anywhere else.
Systemic Candida Yeast Infection
Candida usually only gets into blood or internal organs in people who have poor white blood cell function, but when it does it starts causing serious medical problems.
The Candida fungus breaks down and "eats" cells of all descriptions.
The immune system and membranes surrounding internal organs usually keep it from invading and consuming the cells you need to live, but when that fails life can get quite difficult.
Proper Diagnosis of Candida Yeast Infection for proper Treatment
It's important to distinguish between bacterial infection, fungal infection and viral infection because they're treated by entirely different methods.
Antibiotics are used against bacteria, while a classification of drugs called antimycotics are used against fungi such as in a Candida yeast infection.
There are a few anti-virals on the market for use against specific viruses, but most of them are still being researched.
If you have a bacteria infection, using an antimycotic is about as useful as wishing on a star.
If you have a candida yeast infection, using an antibiotic will probably make the infection even worse, as you just took away all the bacteria who were competing with and limiting your infecting candida fungus.
Neither antibiotics or antimycotics are any use at all against viruses.
This is why proper diagnosis is quite important any time you start having the symptoms of an infection.
Symptoms of an infection include white, yellow or greenish pus, inflammation, pain, redness and in more serious cases chills, fever, fatigue, dizziness and unconsciousness. Symptoms will vary from there depending on what kind of infection it is.
Candida Yeast Infection Treatments
The most common anti-fungals used to treat candida yeast infections are members of the azole class.
These medications are easily recognized by the suffix -azole in the generic name.
The most common azoles used to treat Candida are clotrimazole, fluconazole and ketoconazole.
If the infection is severe, voriconazole is often used. However, the only people likely to get this last medication are hospitalized because it's a quite powerful antifungal that, unlike the other members of its family, also causes severe side effects that require constant monitoring.
The non-azole antifungal most often used for Candida yeast infection elimination is nystatin. These medications come in tablets, mouthwash and creams meant to be applied to the infected area. Which form you get depends on the location and severity of the current Candida infection.
Everyone carries Candida and can get a candida yeast infection
While the human body doesn't need Candida in order to function, an estimated 80% of the human population carries it around on the skin and in the intestinal tract anyway.
It's considered a part of the normal flora and fauna of the body.
No human is completely germ free, and we'd be quite sick if we tried.
The Genetics of Candida Yeast Infection
It's also one of the most deeply researched fungi in existence.
It mutates quite quickly and so is a perfect research subject for genetic behavior.
Human beings reproduce by meiosis, which is to say that one strand of genetic information from Mom and another from Dad recombine to form a new child. Through this recombination, new genetic material arises and keeps our species from stagnating.
Candida, on the other hand, gets new genetic combinations without mating through numeric and chromosomal re-arrangements.
The chromosomal structure of Candida goes through genetic translations, deletions, triplication (trisomy) of individual chromosomes and increases, decreases or repeats in chromosomal length (chromosomal length polymorphisms).
It cannot reproduce by meiosis, as meiosis means that only one strand of DNA is produced.
Candida will always put both strands of DNA into its new cells.
It can steal genetic information from other Candida cells, though, which makes it able to "mate".
Two different strains of it have been completely genome mapped, and there are hundreds or even thousands to go. This research provides a huge amount of knowledge on the evolution of fungi in general and on Candida in specific. It also promises to provide the medical community with new, more powerful anti-fungal medications and therapies.
The Importance of Understanding Candida and the Candida Yeast Infection
Why should you care about all this? Well, I find it fascinating but then I'm a little weird that way.
What it means for people suffering from a yeast infection is that you're fighting a fungus that can and will mutate in order to survive and thrive.
While Candida infections are normally not a serious health concern to anyone with a healthy immune system, it's still a living thing unto itself that's fighting for food, space and the right to reproduce.
Like all living things Candida has a got a drive to live and as such should not be lightly dismissed.
Fungi are one of the biggest group of species on the planet and fungal infections are one of the most important causes of disease and death in people with compromised immune systems.
If minor Candida yeast infections are not taken seriously and treated properly, the fungus can easily mutate into a form that resists the current anti-fungal medications before we have the chance to develop new ones.
We're already seeing this effect with bacteria and antibiotics because antibiotics have been seriously misused.
The number of Candida albicans strains that are resistant to modern medication is slowly on the rise as unavoidable mutation and natural selection take their toll.
In addition, there are increasing incidents of yeast infections caused not by the most common culprit, Candida albicans, but by Candida glabrata.
Candida glabrata is often resistant to the azole class of medications, which makes it quite worrisome to people with compromised immune systems from cancer, transplants, or AIDS and the doctors who treat them.
Candida Yeast Infections in Conclusion
If you're relatively healthy and have an immune system in good working order, Candida yeast can't really do more than annoy you to no living end. It hurts, it burns, and it's downright disgusting, but it won't seriously hurt you.
However, if you suffer from a disease or have to take a medication that suppresses the immune system, Candida is a fungus you don't want to meet.
Whether you have a healthy immune system or not, education is the best method to fighting Candida yeast and keeping it from changing faster than our ability to respond.
Candida Yeast Infection references
Taber's Medical Encyclopedia
Ryan KJ; Ray CG (editors) (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology, 4th ed., McGraw Hill.
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.
Also, please consider sharing our helpful STD's with your online friends.
Good luck from: Loni (Researcher and writer ) Donald (Editor and web master).
|ABOUT US||CONTACT US|