Health Questions and Answers

Questions: What are the clinical settings and risk factors associated with Candida infections?

Answer:

  • Chronic mucocutaneous infections: defects in T-lymphocyte immunity, congenital (e.g., chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis) or acquired (e.g., AIDS)
  • Deeply invasive, disseminated infections: peripheral neutrophil count < 500/mm3; mucosal barrier breakdown (burn, cytotoxic agents, GI surgery, IV catheter sites); candidal overgrowth (broad-spectrum antibiotics)
  • Colonization of a catheter, with fever: indwelling catheter

The difference between the first two categories may be difficult to distinguish clinically; if there is doubt, the patient should be treated for disseminated disease.

Reference: Pappas PG, et al: Guidelines for the treatment of candidiasis. Clin Infect Dis 38:161-189, 2004.

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