Fungal infections caused by Candida are the most common type of fungal infections in the world. Fiercely opportunistic, Candida is a part of everyone’s intestinal flora. It doesn’t actually cause problems unless it takes over and crowds out the good bacteria. Then it causes numerous health issues. Four different species of Candida make up the majority of fungal infections in the United States: Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, and Candida parapsilosis. If you catch them early, most of these Candida infections can be taken care of with an adjustment in diet.
A Possible Scenario
The conventional medical treatment for Candida involves pharmaceuticals. Somewhat effective in killing Candida, these drugs also kill other microbes in the intestinal tract and leave you without enough beneficial bacteria to fight off other new infections.
The Center for Disease Control has issued a clinical alert to U.S. healthcare facilities asking them to be on the lookout for one such infection associated with high mortality, a resilient species of yeast called Candida auris that has shown resistance to three major classes of antifungals.
The New, Interesting Fun Guy on the Block
Identified in 10 countries worldwide, including the U.S, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, Candida auris causes invasive infections in the ear, bloodstream, and wounds. It has also shown up in the respiratory tract and in urine tests.
It may be underreported. Advanced testing facilities are needed to isolate and confirm Candida auris since it closely resembles other species of Candida. There’s speculation that Candida auris is not a new species as much as it is a result of the medical community’s unintentional and highly successful super-bacteria and fungus breeding program.
The Hospital is a Petri Dish
So why the clinical alert from the CDC, as opposed to a general notice? Tests of Candida auris outbreaks in healthcare facilities in other countries have been very closely related genetically, suggesting that the healthcare facilities are where the fungus is developing and thriving.
The origin of the average yeast infection isn’t a mystery, as Candida exists in everyone’s personal microbes. But the evolution of a common garden variety microbe into a species associated with a high mortality rate gets a boost from the lack of competition and the survive and thrive environment of a hospital. Go to the hospital for a yeast infection, take medication and wipe it out (along with a lot of your beneficial microbes), and you might pick up something new while you are even less equipped to fight pathogens. Convenient, no?
Are We Prepared for What’s Next?
There was one confirmed case of Candida auris in the U.S. in 2013 (although due to the lack of definitive testing, that number is likely to be higher). Sure that’s one case. But if only one confirmed case in the United States is enough for the CDC to issue a clinical alert, what does that say about this particular infection?
Bacteria and fungi are becoming increasingly resistant to drug therapy and last resort medications, and it stands to reason that the evolution of parasites and other microbes will follow close behind. In the twenty years since the first identification of Candida auris, the fungus is rapidly burning a hole through standard treatments. It’s past time to stop making drug therapy the first response. If the symptoms of these conditions continue to be merely managed and repeat infections are treated rather than addressing their causes with real change and education, everyone will be affected, not just the people who have to check into the hospital.
- Still Have Candida? How Mercury Fillings Cause Candida Overgrowth
- Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones
- Candida, Gut Flora, Allergies, and Disease
- Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases
- How to Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem – Organic Lifestyle Magazine
- Types of Candida – LiveStrong.com
- Global Emergence of Invasive Infections Caused by the Multidrug Resistant Yeast Candida Auris – cdc.gov