Candidiasis of the oropharyngeal mucosa (OPC) occurs with minor variations of host factors as antibiotic therapy, glucocorticoid therapy (topical or systemic), age (very young, very old) as well as with significant immunocompromise. Esophageal and/or tracheobronchial candidiasis may be associated with oropharyngeal candidiasis and always occurs in the setting of advanced immunocompromise. Candida can invade through eroded mucosa, with resultant fungemia and invasive candidiasis.
Most cases of Oropharyngeal Candidiasis are caused by the person's own Candida organisms which normally live in the mouth or digestive tract. A person has symptoms when overgrowth of Candida organisms occurs.
It occurs more frequently and more severely in people with weakened immune systems, particularly in persons with AIDS.
People with Oropharyngeal Candidiasis infection usually have painless, white patches in the mouth. Symptoms of OPC in the esophagus may include pain and difficulty swallowing.
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