Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida.
Unlike candida infections in the mouth and throat (also called “thrush”) or vaginal “yeast infections,” which are centered to one part of the body, invasive candidiasis is a severe infection that can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, or other parts of the body.
Candida commonly exist in the gastrointestinal tract and on skin without causing any problems.
However, in some patients who are at risk, Candida can enter the bloodstream and cause an infection. A Candida bloodstream infection, which is a common form of invasive candidiasis, and is also called candidemia.
In the United States, candidemia is one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients.
Invasive candidiasis is treated with antifungal medication, and antifungal medication is often given to prevent the infection from developing in certain patient groups.
Patients who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, kidney failure, or are on antibiotics, have higher chances of getting it.
Symptoms of Invasive Candidiasis
People who develop invasive candidiasis are often already sick from other medical conditions, so it can be questionable to know which symptoms are related to a Candida infection.
However, the most common symptoms of invasive candidiasis include:
- Fever and chills
Some patients develop a syndrome resembling bacterial sepsis, with a fulminating course that may include:
Other symptoms can develop if the infection spreads to other parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, eyes, bones, or joints.
How is invasive candidiasis treated?
The specific type and dose of antifungal medication used to treat invasive candidiasis usually depends on the patient’s age, immune status, and location and severity of the infection.
For most adults, the initial recommended antifungal treatment is an echinocandin (caspofungin, micafungin, or anidulafungin) given through the vein (intravenous or IV).
How long does the treatment last?
For candidemia, treatment should continue for 2 weeks after signs and symptoms have resolved and Candida yeasts are no longer in the bloodstream.
Other forms of invasive candidiasis, such as infections in the bones, joints, heart, or central nervous system, usually need to be treated for a longer period of time.
Is invasive candidiasis contagious?
Invasive candidiasis doesn’t spread from person to person. However, some species of the fungus that causes invasive candidiasis normally live on skin, it’s possible that Candida can spread from one person to another and possibly cause an infection in someone who is at high risk.
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