Candida Parapsilosis

Candida parapsilosis is a type of yeast that belongs to Candida family. Candida parapsilosis infection can be life-threatening and is more common in people with wounds and those who are hospitalized. This infection also affects infants who are not yet developed. Candida parapsilosis can invade your heart, vagina, eyes, urinary system and ears and cause infections.

 Causes of Candida Parapsilosis Infections

Candida parapsilosis is found in the environment. This microorganism is found on plants, soil, and water and on human skin, mucosa and nails. Candida may not cause any health problems in the human body. However, Candida species are the most known causes of opportunistic infections in people with a weak immune system in the hospital places. Candida parapsilosis can enter your bloodstream or wound because it is able to stick to catheters and other medical equipment.

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Risk Factors

A number of risk factors can elevate your chances of being infected with Candida infection such as:

  • Patients who are hospitalized for cancer and HIV treatment are at higher risk of contracting Candida Parapsilosis infection.
  • Patients taking drugs such as antibiotics and steroids for a long period of time may also be at risk of being infected.
  • Those who are elderly and also babies are at risk of contracting fungal infection because their immune system is weak.
  • Patients who need surgery in health facility are also at risk of being infected.
  • Diabetic people especially women are at risk of contracting Candida infection.

 

How Candida Parapsilosis Infection Spreads?

Candida parapsilosis infections spread through medical equipment such as catheter. This is because the yeast can attach on these medical equipment and cause infection which enters the blood and the wound.

This infection can also spread through the hands of those caring for the patient. The microorganism is found on the hands of the care takers and they can easily transfer it to the patient when they attend to them.

 

Symptoms of Candida Parapsilosis Infections

The symptoms of Candida infection can range from not severe, moderate or to severe. Mild symptoms of Candida parapsilosis infections occur when your eyes, mouth or vagina are infected. The infection can be severe if it reaches your heart, joints and brain.  The symptoms of Candida parapsilosis infections depend on the severity of the infection and its location.

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  • Candida parapsilosis infections can cause the patient’s mouth, skin or the area around the nails to become itchy and red. Patients may also feel pain in the affected areas.
  • Candida parapsilosis infection can also affect your ears. Infection in the ear can cause itching and pain. It may also cause watery discharge to come out of the patient’s ears.
  • Candida infection can spread and affect vagina in women who have a weak immune system. Candida infection in the vagina causes itching, vaginal discharge and burning sensations in women. This infection causes pain when a woman has sexual intercourse.
  • Candida infection can be life-threatening if it spreads to the patient’s brain, heart or lungs. This infection can spread to the patient’s joints and cause septic arthritis.

 

Diagnosis

Fungal infections can be confirmed through laboratory tests. Cultures of the affected areas of the patient’s skin and tissue are collected for tests. Specimens for analysis are collected in the following ways according to the affected parts of the patient’s body:

  • Your health professional cleans the affected area on your skin with alcohol and scraps the scale on the skin. If the area around your nails is infected, your health provider scraps the skin below the nails. If the mouth or vagina is infected, your health provider will put a wet swab in your mouth or vagina to collect the specimen. The collected specimens are examined under a microscope using any of the following techniques: Potassium hydroxide, Stained dried smear and unstained wet-mount.

 

Treatment of Candida Parapsilosis Infections

Successful management of Candida infections depend on eliminating the yeast completely. Since Candida parapsilosis can stick to medical equipment such as catheter, changing medical equipment and inserting new ones in the hospital can help minimize spread of infections.

Candida infections are treated using antifungal drugs. Many antifungal drugs are available for treating Candida parapsilosis infections such as amphoterecin B which is given in form of an injection. This medicine is given to the patients for 2 to 5 days until the infection is under control. After five days, the oral form of amphoterecin B is administered to the patient for about 4 weeks so as to completely eliminate the yeast.

Patients using amphoterecin B can experience side effects such as nausea which may cause vomiting. They also feel pain in their joints and loss of weight.

Other drugs that can be used to treat Candida parapsilosis infections include voriconazole and fluconazole. But, Candida parapsilosis has developed resistance against these drugs.

Other treatment options include:

  • Oxygen therapy is used to manage shortness of breath in patients.
  • Your health professional may also prescribe intravenous fluid such as saline to treat high blood pressure associated with Candida infection.

 

In addition to medicines, patients with Candida infection need to select a healthy diet to eat. They should avoid sugary foods since Candida species thrive on these types of food. Avoid food that has yeast such as bread, mushrooms and food made using white flour like white rice.

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