Candida albicans

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Code: m5
Latin name: Candida albicans
Source material: Disrupted cells
Yeast
Candida-specific IgE antibodies have been demonstrated in asthma and rhinitis (1).

Allergen Exposure

C. albicans is common in soil, organic debris and in humans where it occurs as a saprophyte in the nasopharynx and feces.

Clinical Experience

The role of C. albicans as a cause of allergy has been much disputed. It may cause clinically significant infections, such as thrush in infants, skin infections in diabetic patients and sepsis in immuno-compromised patients.
 
Review
The yeast C. albicans is seldom met airborne. It is common in soil, organic debris and in humans where it occurs as a saprophyte in the nasopharynx and feces. It may cause clinically significant infections, such as thrush in infants, skin infections in diabetic patients and sepsis in immuno-compromised patients.
 
The role of C. albicans as a cause of allergy has been much disputed. Its universal distribution, infectious properties and readiness to provoke immunological response make the evaluation of potential hyper-sensitivities difficult. Candida-specific IgE antibodies have been demonstrated in asthma and rhinitis (1).
 
Savolainen et al. (2) found a major protein allergen (46 kD) and 15 other allergenic bands weighing between 16 and 135 kD which bound IgE. 10/13 atopic children had IgE towards the major protein.

References

  1. Edge G, Pepys J. Antibodies in different immunoglobulin classes to Candida albicans in allergic respiratory disease. Clin Allergy (Clin Exp Allergy) 1980;10:47-58.
  2. Savolainen J, Viander M, Koivikko A. IgE-, IgA- and IgG-antibody responses to carbohydrate and protein antigens of Candida albicans in asthmatic children. Allergy 1990;45:54-63.

 

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.