Oral Candidiasis

Oral Candidiasis

  Autor Eugen Prajinariu Data: 26.07.2005

Oral Candidiasis

The candidiasis is caused by Candida albicans. This is an infection of fungi caused by a very frequent fungus in the human pathology. Usually, the fungal infections are associated with immune deficiencies of the body (a weakened body because of many diseases or of physiological causes). The newborn already has a vulnerable body as there is an immune deficiency in the first 3 months of life.

The antibodies received from the mother disappear in infants after 3 months.
In the first 3 months, the infants fight against the possible infections with the antibodies he has received from his mother during the intrauterine life. Then, these antibodies disappear, being gradually replaced by his own antibodies. During this transition period, the antibodies received from the mother milk are very important. If we consider all this information together, we observe the importance of the exclusive breastfeeding in the first 5 months of life at least.

Being a carrier of Candida albicans doesn't mean you have the disease
Candida albicans is extremely spread, about 90% of the world population might be carriers of this fungus. This does not mean we are all sick but a part of us, the rest being just carriers, and this depends on the body state very much, as we mentioned above. This fungus lives on the mucous membranes: the mouth, the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary tract, the vagina. In these parts, the fungus might lead to phenomena which consist in the modification of the aspect and composition of local discharges and the modification of the respective mucous characteristics (candidiasis). For example, you may observe white deposits in the mouth, which might turn into small ulcerations in time, or modification of the vaginal discharge, of the urine, the stool and even abdominal pains.
These deposits might extend around the mouth, on the lips, at the mouth corners (aphtha) and also around the anus in infants (perianal candidiasis), which means that the fungal infection is extended to the entire digestive tract, which need a proper and complete treatment.

Where can we get infected with Candidiasis from?
From everywhere, when talking about newborns. The first contaminated environment is mother's vagina (in case of natural births), then the alimentation no matter it is breast or artificially, both the breast and the child's bottle (especially the child's bottle) can transmit candidiasis to infants. The breastfeeding advantage is that it ensures the necessary antibodies to fight against infections.

You must remember that the fungi are unavoidable. They like to develop on the living organism no matter the situation. When the child is weakened after other diseases or in case he is premature, the fungi cause the disease which is very severe. The general infection with candida albicans for example, might cause bronchopneumonia or septicemia in infants.
The treatment for candidiasis in infants is done only at the doctor's recommendation. Usually, it is necessary to treat all the infections which have clinic symptoms and to prevent the general infection.

Read the English version of this article: Oral Candidiasis