Course # DL-986: Candida And Its Role In Opportunistic Mycoses

by Lucy Treagan, Ph.D. - Prof. Biol. Emerita - University of San Francisco

Approved for 2.0 CE
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate


At the present time microbial infections are most frequently caused by microorganisms that constitute the resident flora of the host rather than by exogenous pathogens. Microorganisms that are generally harmless may become virulent because of changes in the host’s resistance or because of an alteration in the composition of the host’s microbial flora, usually caused by antibiotic therapy.

During the past 25 years fungi have emerged as a major cause of human illnesses. Infection with the yeast Candida is the most frequent cause of fungal disease. These yeasts are members of normal human microbial flora. They are common in the gastrointestinal and genital tracts. Candida species have also been isolated from the respiratory tract, mouth, skin, ear, and eye. Candida is a true opportunistic pathogen that under certain circumstances is able to invade tissues normally resistant to infection.


After completing this course the participant will be able to:

1. Describe principal characteristics and classification of Candida albicans.

2. List Candida species that play a role in human disease.

3. Outline the epidemiology of Candida infections.

4. List human illnesses caused by Candida species.

5. Summarize factors that contribute to development of candidiasis.

6. Describe methods used in laboratory diagnosis of Candida infections.

7. Explain the nature of the immune response to Candida.

8. Discuss prevention of Candida infections.


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