Candida- is a unicellular microorganism of round or oval shape, which refers to yeast-like fungi. The genus Candida has about 170 varieties, the most common of which is Candida albicans (Candida albicans).
You can meet it almost everywhere - from soil and household items to the tissues of the human body: it lives in the intestines, mouth cavity, esophagus , genitals, etc.
In the body of a healthy person between Candida albicans, as well as other bacteria and microorganisms, there is some balance, but with some disorders and pathological conditions the fungus begins to multiply actively.
Factors provoking the reproduction of Candida albicans include:
- Decreased immunity;
- Nervous stress;
- Taking certain medications (antibiotics, oral contraceptives, etc.).
If you look at the structure of Candida albicans fungus, a photo of which can be found on the web, it can be noted that it has very dense walls. Due to this, it is highly resistant to any external influences. Fungus is absolutely undemanding to temperature conditions, and very fond of glucose, so Candida albicans develop very rapidly on the mucous membranes, and rapidly increases their colonies, causing a disease called candidiasis, or thrush.
Types of candidiasis and their symptoms
Candidiasis can have a variety of forms (depending on the location of the fungus): distinguish candidiasis of the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs, etc. If Candida albicans begins to multiply on the surface of the skin, the foci of the disease are most often localized in large folds of the skin (inguinal, axillary, interannual) or between the fingers. They look like small bubbles, which, bursting, form large spots of dark red color.
If the fungus is localized in the gastrointestinal tract, it can manifest as candidiasis (thrush) of the oral cavity, or settle in places of ulcerative and erosive damage to the stomach. Thrush of the oral cavity most often occurs in newborns and is characterized by a white cheesy coating, forming films of different shapes and sizes. But gastric candidiasis usually develops against a peptic ulcer, slowing healing of ulcers, and causing pain and bleeding. Symptoms of this disease are white flakes in the feces, diarrhea, flatulence.
Approximately 80% of all cases of candidiasis fall on vaginal or urogenital candidiasis. Symptoms of Candida albicans development in women and men differ significantly from each other.
So, milkwort in women is recognized by the following signs:
- Curdled discharge from the vagina;
- Unpleasant odor;
- Redness of mucous membranes;
- Itching or discomfort in the perineum.
But the development of Candida albicans in men usually manifests as candida balanoposthitis , and is characterized by such symptoms as:
- Plaque white on the head of the penis;
- Itching in the foreskin region;
- Pain, scarring and other manifestations of discomfort during urination.
In any case, with any suspicion of Candida albicans, you need to undergo a special analysis that will show the presence of the fungus in the body.
Analysis on Candida albicans
The analysis for the identification of the fungus can be carried out in any diagnostic laboratory by the following methods:
- Smear microscopy. In this case, the doctor should take a smear from the place of possible localization of Candida albicans (vagina, urethra, oral cavity). It is studied under a microscope for the detection of fungal cells.
- Identification of Candida albikans by the method of poly-dimensional chain reaction (PCR). This method is considered the most sensitive for the diagnosis of fungal infections, and is based on the detection in the material (urine, saliva, blood, etc.) of the DNA of the causative agent of the infection.
- Immunoenzyme analysis (ELISA). The analysis is based on the detection of immunoglobulins (antibodies) IgGK Candida albicans.
- Sowing on the fungus with the definition of its sensitivity to special drugs. The material for research can be urine, sputum, feces or swabs from the vagina, urethra, mouth cavity, etc. To carry out the analysis, the material is placed in a special medium; If the fungus is present in this sample, Candida albicans begins to multiply intensely, and soon becomes easily visible to the naked eye.
Analysis of the analysis
The interpretation of the results of the analysis depends primarily on the method by which the study was conducted, as well as on several other factors, including the patient's condition.
Since the fungus is sometimes present in the microflora of a healthy person, the Candida albicans norm in the smear may be about 102-104.
In this case, the doctor looks at the patient's condition and possible symptoms of the disease. If the amount of fungus exceeds 105, then immediately begin treatment.
If the analysis was carried out by the method of inoculation, a small number of grown fungal colonies (<104 cf / tampon) can be considered as the norm. Finally, when testing by ELISA and PCR, the norm is the absence of DNA or antibodies to Candida Albicans in the material.