Candida albicans- An Overview


Candida albicans is a type of yeast or fungus that lives in various parts of the human body, such as the mouth, skin, gut, and vagina . It is usually harmless and controlled by other microbes, but it can cause infections when it grows out of balance . It is an opportunistic pathogen that can affect people with weak or compromised immune systems . It is the most common human fungal pathogen.

Candida albicans can grow in different forms, such as yeast, pseudohyphae, and hyphae . These forms help it to adapt to different environments and host tissues. Candida albicans can also switch between different phenotypes, such as white and opaque cells, which have different mating abilities.

Candida albicans can cause various types of infections, depending on the site and severity of the infection. Some common infections are:

  • Thrush: An infection of the mouth and throat that appears as white patches or sores.
  • Vaginal yeast infection: An infection of the vagina that causes itching, burning, and discharge.
  • Invasive candidiasis: A serious infection that spreads through the bloodstream and affects internal organs, such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and bones .

Candida albicans infections can be diagnosed by microscopic examination, culture, serology, or molecular methods. The treatment depends on the type and severity of the infection. Some common antifungal drugs are nystatin, fluconazole, amphotericin B, and caspofungin .

Candida albicans is a complex and versatile fungus that can cause a range of infections in humans. It is important to understand its biology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment to prevent and manage these infections effectively.