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What is candida?

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Quick Answer

Candida is a parasitic fungus that is yeast-like and can cause thrush, vaginitis, athlete’s foot and other infections. It is the most common cause of fungal infections in humans worldwide.

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Candida can live almost anywhere on the human body, but can be concentrated in the mouth, genitals and intestinal tract. The fungi are usually benign, but can become pathogenic and cause disease. Candida is the genus, but there are many species of Candida that can cause different types of problems. The species should be identified when diagnosing and treating a Candida problem.

Candidiasis, the infection causes by Candida, has become more common in recent years due to the overuse of antibiotics which can kill the healthy fungus and bacteria as well as those that make people ill. Candidiasis can be a problem for people with reduced immune system functions, organ transplantation receivers, and those with invasive devices, such as catheters.

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