Candidiasis (thrush, monilia infection) is caused by a fungus that most commonly infects the mouth (usually of infants or persons with weakened immune systems), or the vagina (yeast infection). Another form of candidiasis causes painful inflammation under the fingernails (paronychia). It also occurs as an opportunistic infection in the late stages of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), as a nosocomial infection after catheterization; and it
Candidiasis is transmitted by close contact of an infected with an uninfected mucous membrane. Infants acquire it as they pass through the birth canal. Topical application of antifungal paint or ointment can usually eliminate the infection and thus prevent transmission. Management is more difficult in debilitated and immunocompromised patients, in whom the condition can be very stubborn.
JOHN M. LAST