Fact Sheet: Candida albicansDownload PDF here
- Candida albicans (C. albicans) is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that is responsible for Candidiasis in human hosts.
- C. albicans grows in several different morphological forms, ranging from unicellular budding yeast to true hyphae.
- In 1847 Charles Philippe Robin classified the fungus as Odium albicans using albicans (“to whiten”) to name the fungus causing thrush. Robin Berkhout reclassified it under the current genus Candida in 1923.
- Typically, C. albicans lives as a harmless commensal in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract and is found in over 70% of the population.
- Candida is a polymorphic or pleomorphic organism, because it has the ability to take on a range of morphologies (different forms).
- The main cause of C. albicans infection is the over use of antibiotics. The longer and more often you take them, and the higher dose you take, the greater the risk of an opportunistic Candida infection.
- Candida forms complex, dynamic, three-dimensional structures called biofilms on the surfaces they colonise, which provides them with a protective shield.
- Candida is a type of fungus that can cause an infection in your skin, among other locations.
- Candida fungus skin infections include: athlete’s foot, oral thrush, nail fungus and vaginal thrush.
- Over 75% of women will suffer from a C. albicansinfection at some point in their lives.
- C. albicansis transmitted from mother to infant through childbirth. The overgrowth of C. albicans leads to of disease, and it occurs when there are imbalances.
- C. albicansis is the fourth leading cause for nosocomial infections in patients’ bloodstreams. Candida-based septicaemia can be life-threatening.
- There are three major forms of disease: oropharyngeal Candidiasis, vulvovaginal Candidiasis, and invasive Candidiasis.
- Illnesses such as Diabetes, Lupus or Thyroid problems can make people more susceptible to Candidiasis.
In the lab / at Wickham Laboratories Ltd:
- Media such as Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) can be used to examine for the presence / absence of C. albicans. Shiny convex creamy white / beige colonies is indicated as a positive result. This is then confirmed using identification techniques such as MALDI-ToF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation-Time of Flight).
- It is one of the microorganisms required in both the Preservative Efficacy Test (Efficacy of Antimicrobial Preservation Ph Eur 5.1.3 and Antimicrobial Effectiveness Test USP <51>) for all products.
- It is one of the gallery of microorganisms used in growth promotion tests of media for Microbiological Quality of Non-sterile products (Ph. Eur.2.6.12 & 2.6.13, USP <61> & <62>, JP 4.05) and media for Sterility Testing (Ph. Eur. 2.6.1, USP <71>, JP 4.06).
- It can be used as a challenge microorganism for Disinfectant Testing, Zone of Inhibition testing and Log Reduction testing.
- The pharmacopeial growth temperature is 20-25°C for 3-5 days or 5-7 days depending upon the Pharmacopeia and test required. This organism will also grow at 37°C.