Candidiasis is most frequently caused by the yeast Candida albicans, and less often by other Candida spp. Superficial infections of mucosal surface (oropharynx, genitalia) are common in otherwise healthy individuals; infections of the esophagus and/or tracheobronchial tree occur in the setting of significant immunocompromise. Cutaneous candidiasis occurs at moist occluded skin. Invasive, disseminated candidiasis occurs in immunocompromised individuals, usually after invasion of the gastrointestinal tract.
Thrush is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This organism lives in your mouth and is usually kept in check by healthy organisms that also live there. However, when your resistance to infection is low, the fungus can grow, leading to lesions in your mouth and on your tongue.
The following can lessen your resistance to infection and increase your chances of getting thrush:
* Taking antibiotics or steroid medications
* Having HIV infection or AIDS
* Receiving chemotherapy for cancer or drugs to suppress your immune system following an organ transplant
* Being very old or very young
* Being in poor health
* Having diabetes
Candida albicans can also cause yeast infections in the vagina.
Thrush appears as whitish, velvety plaques in the mouth and on the tongue. Underneath the whitish material, there is red tissue that may bleed.
If you are immunocompromised (for example, you are HIV positive or receiving chemotherapy), the infection can spread to other organs, like the esophagus (causing pain with swallowing), or throughout your body, which can be fatal.
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