Invasive candidiasis is a serious fungal infection caused by the Candida species of fungi, which can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. This condition is also known as candidemia, candidosis, or systemic candidiasis.
Normally, Candida is a type of yeast that lives harmlessly on the skin and inside the body, such as in the mouth, gut, and vagina. However, in certain situations, such as when the immune system is weakened, or when there is a breach in the skin or mucous membranes, Candida can overgrow and cause an infection.
Invasive candidiasis is most commonly seen in hospitalized patients who have compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplants, or surgeries, as well as those with indwelling medical devices such as catheters or IV lines. Other risk factors include diabetes, corticosteroid use, and prolonged antibiotic use.
The symptoms of invasive candidiasis can vary depending on the site of infection, but may include fever, chills, low blood pressure, organ failure, and skin lesions. Diagnosis is typically made through blood cultures or other laboratory tests to identify the Candida species.
Treatment of invasive candidiasis usually involves antifungal medications, such as fluconazole or echinocandins, given intravenously. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissues or medical devices. Early and aggressive treatment is essential to prevent the spread of the infection and reduce the risk of complications and mortality.