Candida stellatoidea is a type of yeast that lives as a saprophyte and is not an obligate pathogen. It is a potentially opportunistic pathogen that can cause infections of the mucous membranes and sepsis (blood poisoning) in patients with weakened immune systems. Sepsis by the pathogen corresponds to fungemia and is a life-threatening condition.

What is Candida stellatoidea?

Candida corresponds to a genus of yeasts that fall into the department of ascomycota or ascomycota and are assigned to the subsection Saccharomycotina. The yeast genus belongs to the class of Saccharomycetes and counts therein to the order genuine yeasts or Saccharomycetales. The parent family of Candida are the Inceratae sedis. There are about 150 different species of the genus. The species Candida stellatoidea is one of them. Closely related seems to be the species in particular with Candida albicans. Apparently its genome is a mutation of the Candida albicans genome.

Candida is always to be regarded as a polymorphic fungus and thus forms in different growth forms. Its single cells are round-oval in shape and have a diameter of about four to ten microns. Besides the formation of pseudomycetes in filamentous form, the formation of true hyphae is also typical for some Candida species. The latter, however, only applies to the manifest infection with the yeasts.

The fungus species Candida stellatoidea is distributed worldwide. The species forms colonies of elongated or cylindrical shoot cells. Most of the yeast's pseudomycelium is long and tortuous. Along them are cluster-like blastospores of small size.

Representatives of the species Candida stellatoidea are saprophytes, which are among the opportunistic pathogens. This allows the species to be pathogenic to humans. As a yeast, the species corresponds to a unicellular and eukaryotic microorganism that proliferates in the form of budding, cleavage or division.

Occurrence, distribution & characteristics

The fungus Candida stellatoidea is a saprophyte. As such, species of the species do not operate by photochemistry or chemosynthesis. Yeasts belong to the chemo-organotropic organisms and operate their energy metabolism by energy sources of organic origin. The energy source is glucose, maltose, fructose or sucrose. They can also grow in the total absence of sunlight and feel most comfortable in environments with neutral or slightly acidic pH levels.

As saprophytes, representatives of Candida stellatoidea invariably feed heterotrophically and in this sense need organically dead substances for their metabolism. They metabolize these substances to higher-energy substances and convert them into inorganic substances as they progress.

Candida stellatoidea proliferate similar to other yeast cells by budding. In this process, one area of ​​the cell wall is everted out of one parent cell and thus forms a bud. In the resulting bud migrate nucleus copies that completely separate from the mother cell. Pyramids are able, under particularly favorable conditions, to form cell aggregates. Since the cells of their associations do not communicate with each other, it is instead of real mycelium to so-called pseudomyzel.

Meaning & function

The yeast species Candida stellatoidea is not an obligate pathogen. It lives as a harmless saprophyte with humans and is therefore rather a commensal. In this context, the yeast species does not harm humans and uses them just as little. As commensals, Candida can occur on the skin, on the mucous membranes, in the gastrointestinal area or in the vagina. The yeast species Candida stellatoidea usually settles there without producing any symptoms of infection.

This is the case with people with a healthy immune system. Their defense system prevents the infection by sending immune cells to intervention before the yeast cells spread. The immune cells recognize the yeast as foreign and render it harmless in time. The pathological significance of Candida stellatoidea is therefore classified as low.

Nevertheless, there are boundaries between parasites and saprophytes. And so, from a harmless saprophyte like Candida stellatoidea, it can become a parasite or pathogen under certain conditions. The Candida species is therefore also referred to as an opportunistic pathogen despite its spread as a commensal.

Diseases & complaints

Immunodeficiency can turn the harmless yeast species Candida stellatoidea into a pathogen. For example, immune deficiency is associated with conditions such as AIDS, but is also associated with debilitating diseases such as cancer or previous infections. In addition, age-physiologically a weakness of the immune system is to be expected. The therapeutic approaches for autoimmune diseases also suppress the immune system.

In immunocompromised patients, the Candida species can reach an extreme spread in the body due to the lack of intervention of the immune system. As a result, not only mycoses of the inner mucous membranes, such as the vaginal mucosa or the inner lining of the skin arise.

In case of infection with Candida stellatoidea there is also a risk for Candida sepsis. This type of sepsis corresponds to a fungemia, ie a blood poisoning by fungi or yeasts. Blood poisoning is a systemic inflammatory reaction that can be life-threatening.

Infections with Candida stellatoidea are usually endogenous infections. In purely external mycoses by Candida antifungal drugs are used therapeutically. Complications such as candida sepsis are often unfavorable and require treatment with amphotericin B or liposomal amphotericin B. You may also use voriconazole, posaconazole, caspofungin or anidulafungin. Those affected are usually cared for in the intensive care unit, where they can be monitored 24 hours a day.

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