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Candidiasis - A Review

Zafar K Khan and Anita Gyanchandani (1997)


Hippocrates in his "Epidemics" described aphthae or thrush (white patches in debilitated patients. The term "thrush" is probably derived from ancient Scandinavian or Anglo-Saxon. "Torsk" is the Swedish equivalent of this word. The French word for the condition id "le muguet", which means "lilley of the Valley." Galen described it as of common occurrence in children particularly sickly children, and the disease was noted in Repy's diary [Winner & Hurley1964). It was recognized early as a condition of newborn in textbooks on pediatrics by Rosen [1771] and Underwood [1784]. The disease was so prevalent in France that the French Societe Royale de Medecine offered an award of pounds 1299 for its study in 1786 [Rouse & Linoseier 1890]. Veron [1835] postulated that it was acquired during passage through the womb. He also described the first cases of esophageal candidiasis. Berg [1846] considered the fungus to be transmitted by unhygienic conditions by feeding bottles. Debilitation was proposed by Bennett [1844] and Robin [1853] as the most important prelude to Candidal infection. Bennett's [1844] work was notable for the excellent and accurate illustration of the fungus in the lung and sputum of a patient with pneumothorax due to "Tuberculosis." Berg [1844] reproduced the disease in healthy babies inoculating them with aphthous membrane material. One of them died with Candidal bronchitis and pneumonia. Parrot [1877] noted the first pulmonary human infection. Disseminated infection involving many organs was recorded by Schmorl [1890].


A revival of interest in systemic candidiasis and Candidal endocarditis took place after 1940. The occurrence of candidiasis as a sequal to the use of antibacterial antibiotics particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics evoked a great surge of research. The results have demonstrated the delicate ecosystem of which Candida is a member. Many fatal cases of candidiasis occurred following abrogation of this balance.


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Keywords: history of candida, broad spectrum antibiotics

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