Opportunistic Fungal Infections

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Fungal infections are either opportunistic or endemic ubiquitous fungi that exist freely in the environment cause endemic fungal infections. On the other hand, opportunistic fungal infections only cause disease when the immune system degrades [1]. Opportunistic fungi are commensal with the host and a very low intrinsic virulence to cause until the immunity is altered. Some of these include: Candida species, Aspergillus species, pneumocystic jirovecii and Cyptococcus neoformans. These disseminate diseases such as: oral candidiasis (oral thrush), genito-urinary disease and ocular or sinus infections which may spread to involve the Central Nervous system [2]. Opportunistic fungal infections are mainly immunocompromised individuals such as: those with HIV, extensive surgery, haematological disorders, and those who have corticosteroids, cytotoxic and suppressive chemotherapy. As a result, their neutrophils drop to abnormal counts, a conditioning know as neutropenia. This state predisposes these patients to many opportunistic fungal infections such as: candidiasis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis and pneumocystis among others [3]. Candidiasis is a common fungal infection in immunocompromised individuals caused by Candida albicans- a normal oral flora in the genitourinary tract, gastrointestinal tract and on the skin. It form bio films on any surface and cause both mucosal and systemic infections in immunocompromised hosts disseminated as: oral thrush, vulvovaginitis, endocarditis among others [15]. Although Candida albicans still remains the major cause of nosocomial infections, other non albicans candida species such as: Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis and Candida parapsilosis are increasingly becoming common. Accordin... ... middle of paper ... ... ID e43582, 2012. [33] M. A. Viviani, M. Cogliati, M. C. Esposto et al., “Molecular analysis of 311 Cryptococcus neoformans isolates from a 30- monthECMMsurveyofcryptococcosisinEurope,”FEMSYeast Research, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 614–619, 2006. [62] S. H. M. Chen, M. F. Stins, S. H. Huang et al., “Cryptococcus neoformans induces alterations in the cytoskeleton of human brainmicrovascularendothelialcells,”JournalofMedicalMicro- biology, vol. 52, no. 11, pp. 961–970, 2003. [63] Y. C. Chang, M. F. Stins, M. J. McCaffery et al., “Cryptococcal yeast cells invade the central nervous system via transcellular penetrationoftheblood-brainbarrier,”InfectionandImmunity, vol. 72, pp. 4985–4995, 2004. [64] M. Alvarezand A.Casadevall,“Phagosomeextrusionandhost- cell survival after Cryptococcus neoformans phagocytosis by macrophages,” Current Biology, vol. 16, no. 21, pp. 2161–2165, 2006

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