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Candida albicans

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Candida albicans

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    1. Candida albicans Patty Bartlowe Kelsey Hendrex

    2. What is Candida albicans?? It is a yeast-like fungal organism found in small amounts in the normal human intestinal tract, as well as skin and mucous membranes. C. albicans is kept in check by the bodys normal healthy bacteria, but can increase when this balance is disturbed to cause candidiasis of the intestinal tract or yeast infections of other parts of the body. There are two levels of Candida infestation: Mucocutaneous Candidiasis Involves mucous membranes and or surface, outer parts of the body. Most commonly known as thrush, vaginal infections, diaper rash, etc. Disseminated Candidiasis Involves infestation of the blood stream infecting the organs of the body. This level of infection can be life threatening for C. albicans, but more so for non C. albicans.

    3. Often our immune systems are compromised at which time normal yeast present in our bodies, Candida, change from being a beneficial yeast into a harmful fungus. This fungal yeast can quickly become out of balance and overwhelm the beneficial flora (acidophilus) that keeps normal yeast levels in check. There are many species of the genus Candida that cause disease. Candidiasis is the clinical name for infections caused by Candida. C. albicans is an endogenous organism. It is present in 40 to 80% of normal human beings. Candida infections occur in 75% of all women ant least once in their lifetime. It can be found in the mouth, gut, and vagina. C. albicans can be present as either a commensal or pathogenic organism. Geographical distribution of this organism is worldwide. Candida albicans penetrates and damages the epithelial cells.

    4. C. albicans most frequently effects the skin and mucosa causing infection; however, it can lead to disease. The longer it manifest in the body the greater the risk of Disseminated Candidiasis. The yeast can potentially develop rhizoids (long, burrowing legs) which can puncture the colon and small intestine walls. This condition is called leaky gut syndrome. This allows partially digested proteins and the yeast itself to travel in the blood stream as toxins, which could be fatal. Candida albicans does produce toxins. Two main toxins produced are alcohol and acetaldehyde. The alcohol in the blood stream can become so potent it gives a feeling of intoxication. These toxins, of course, are only produced with an out of control, over growth of Candida. The acetaldehyde reacts with dopamine in the body causing depression and anxiety.

    5. Virulence Factors Virulence Factors- factors that cause disease in a host. -Proteolytic enzymes- these enzymes are associated with tissue invasion of the host. -Glycoprotein or protein adhesions- responsible for tissue damage and invading the host. -Proteinase activity- breaks down proteins of the host cell. -Phosopholipase activity- phosopholipase secretion is key to invading the host mucousal epithelia. Also, it catalyses the hydrolysis of phospholipids, which the host cell has to have. -Pseudohyphae or hyphae (long, thread like structures) have potential immunoescape Properties. -Morphogenesis, transition of the yeast cells to Pseudohyphal or hyphal growth.