Lusitaniae is a type of fungus species of the Candida yeast group, and its epidemiology is still unknown due to its frequency of occurrence. Candida Lusitaniae is generally found in animal’s intestine and it rarely infects human beings. The specialty of these fungi is that it is sometimes found in the kidneys, blood streams and various other areas of the body, and it has high resistance to amphotericin B even during the therapy stage. According to recent study, it was found that patients who are hospitalized for a long period of time and have been taking many high doses of anti-biotics, are more susceptible to this kind of infection. Colonization and breeding takes place in the body due to many reasons, including the use of strong antibiotics, a weakened immune system, and even stress. Candida Lusitaniae is seen more often in patients who have undergone bone marrow transplantation, or those who have been given high dose of cytoreductive chemotherapy. These patients are often having neutropenic problems, as it is neutrophil which is responsible for the circulation of white blood cells that act as the defensive mechanism for the body, and when this gets lowered, it fails to defend the body from fungal attacks.
Origin and Cause
Candida Lusitaniae is said to be one of the uncommon pathogens whose isolates are very resistant to amphoteric B. Not many detailed literatures or data is available regarding Candida Lusitaniae as very few detailed studies have been done on them due to their rare frequency of occurrence. Also Candida infection in the blood stream is not viewed as a contaminant; rather it is viewed as source of blood stream infection.
Some studies have found that there was not much difference between patients with Candida Lusitaniae or without it in respect to the antibiotic and other drugs that were given to the patients. The majority of the patients who have been suffering from this fungus infection have already previously suffered from serious a underlying disease which was the main reason that they developed Candida Lusitaniae. One study conducted by the researchers found that Nystatin which was used as an antibody, acted as a polyene antifungal agent and increased the cross resistance of the fungi. The outbreak of Candida Lusitaniae depends from patient to patient and it basically depends on whether a patient’s gut flora is in good health or not. These fungi could also spread via coming in contact with the surface of the skin. REA found that there are about eight different types of strains which are having the property of being resistant.
A study published in 1989, in the ‘Journal of Clinical Microbiology’ stated the emergence of Candida Lusitaniae. It was found that among so many known species of the Candida fungus, Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis were quite common as pathogens but the new found species of Candida Lusitaniae was also showing up to be an opportunistic pathogen and in isolated form was capable of causing fatal and some serious diseases as well. It was seen that in patients without the isolated form of Candida lusitaniae, the infection was resolved without parenteral therapy. This study clearly indicate that Candida lusitaniae is definitely pathogenic in nature and can prove to be a major one over time. Although a lot is still unknown of its pathogenicity, its equal comparison with that of C. albicans and C. tropicalis has brought about certain speculative data which requires further research.
Another study published in the ‘Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal’ in 2003, looked at the effects of Candida Lusitaniae in the urinary tract. The case observed was of a man (78 years of age) with urinary catherizations post a cataract surgery, for 15 months. This subject had dysuria and mild diabetes as well. A lot of urine samples were collected over this period of 15 months and all of them showed a significant presence of Candida Lusitaniae. The finding of this study may suggest that undergoing surgery or using urinary catheters may increase the chances of contracting Candida Lusitaniae in the body. This infection may also be the body’s response to weaken immunity after surgery.
Treatment of Candida should only be done by the use of antifungal agent, and the most common type of method used for the treatment is: ‘echinocandins’. Amphoteric B is not used much for the treatment of Candida Lusitaniae, as it causes toxicity in the blood stream. It is found that echinocandins can tolerate the yeast in more efficient manner.
No sooner the symptoms are detected than the treatment should start as it is very crucial to treat this infection early. Echinocandins treatment should be used in nonneutropenic patients. Voriconazole is also one of the approved drugs, but there are chances that it may develop cross-resistance between Voriconazole and fluconazole. Oral dosage of fluconazole can also be given to the patients in whom the symptoms are found to be reduced and when there is very little resistance.
Epidemiology of Candida lusitaniae – Journal of Clinical Microbiology – 1992 – By Sanchez V, Vazquez JA and Barth-Jones D
Candida lusitaniae Infections – Clinical Infectious Diseases: Journals – 2003 – By Jimmy L. Hawkins, Larry M. Baddour
Emergence of a new pathogen, Candida lusitaniae – Journal of Clinical Microbiology – 1989 – By Blinkhorn RJ, Adelstein D, & Spagnuolo PJ
Candida lusitaniae – Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease – 1984 – By John G. Baker, Harriette L. Nadler and Pierre Forgacs