Candida Albicans

Candida Albicans:

The genus Candida is yeast similar to fungi. The yeasts are spherical, oval or lengthened and reproduce by budding. The buds generally separate from the mother, however sometimes some buds stay attached. In such situations, whenever the cells are lengthened, the terminal bud becomes longest and the yeast cells emerge elongated. This form is termed as Pseudomycelium. The yeasts that generate pseudomycelium are generally termed as Yeast like fungi. There are numerous species in nature and they cause many diseases in man, however 90 percent of the infections are caused by Candida albicans.

Candida albicans is usually present in the mouth, intestine and vagina. Whenever the immunological circumstances and defense mechanisms are compromised, it causes infections in the sites it is present and also elsewhere in the body.

Candida albicans is thin walled, non-capsulated, oval yeast with or without bud that generates pseudomycelium in the body and in the culture whenever the aeration is poor. In nutritionally poor media, at temperatures under 26oC it generates thick walled chlamydospores and it too produces curved elongated germ tube whenever transferred to mammalian serum from a peptone having medium at 37oC. The yeast cell and the pseudo mycelium are stained by Gram’s technique (i.e., Gram positive).

Candida albicans grows fine on Sabouraud’s medium and on Blood agar. Its expansion characteristics in other media, assimilation pattern, fermentation of carbohydrates and breakdown to split urea are some of the characters to distinguish from other Candida species. Candida albicans is not susceptible to antibacterial antibiotics. Candida albicans is pathogenic for guinea pigs, rabbits, and mice.

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                                        Figure: Pseudomycelia                               Figure: Yeast cells


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