Superficial Mucosal Infections

Superficial mucosal lesions occur in the oral and vaginal cavities and are commonly called 'thrush'. These infections can occur in both immunocompetent and immuno-compromised persons. Oral thrush, or oral candidiasis, is a common problem seen in infants, the elderly, and in cancer patients, particularly those with haematological malignancies, receiving chemotherapy, or receiving head and neck radiotherapy. It is characterised by white growth on mucous membranes of the oral cavity, which have underlying red areas when the fungal growth is scraped off.

The majority of isolates associated with oral candidiasis were identified as C. albicans (63-84%) (Sanchez-Vargas et al., 2005a, b; Davies et al., 2006). Risk factors associated with oral candidiasis include xerostomia (dry mouth) and denture wearing (Davies et al., 2006), as well as poorly controlled diabetes mellitus (Guggenheimer et al., 2000) and immunosuppression. The frequency of oral candidiasis, but not oral carriage of Candida species (Sanchez-Vargas et al., 2005a), is higher in HIV positive patients with decreased CD4+ T lymphocyte counts (Liu et al., 2006).

Vulvovaginal thrush is a relatively common problem, representing roughly a quarter of all infectious vaginitis, with a large proportion of women experiencing at least one episode of vaginal thrush during their lifetime (Sobel et al., 1998). Some women experience multiple episodes, commonly called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). Symptoms of vulvovaginal candidiasis include itching, burning, soreness, and abnormal vaginal discharge. In women presenting with vulvovaginal candidiasis 60-100% of isolates are identified as C. albicans (Giraldo et al., 2000; Lopes Consolaro et al., 2004; De Vos et al., 2005; Beltrame et al., 2006; Moreira & Paula, 2006; Paulitsch et al., 2006; Pirotta & Garland, 2006).

Predisposing factors for vulvovaginal candidiasis may include use of contraceptive pills (Moreira & Paula, 2006), although this remains controversial (Pirotta & Garland, 2006).

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Responses

  • samuli
    What is superficial mucosal infection?
    2 years ago

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