Invasive candidiasis: A fungal infection that occurs when Candida (a yeast-like fungus) enters the bloodstream and then spreads through the body. Candida is the fourth most common cause of bloodstream infection among hospitalized patients in the US. A survey found that candidemia (bloodstream infection with Candida) occurs in 8 of every 100,000 persons per year. Persons at high risk for candidemia include low-birth-weight babies, surgical patients, and those whose immune systems are deficient.
The symptoms of invasive candidiasis are not specific. Fever and chills that do not improve after antibiotic therapy are the most common symptoms. If the infection spreads to deep organs such as kidneys, liver, bones, muscles, joints, spleen, or eyes, additional specific symptoms may develop, which vary depending on the site of infection. If the infection does not respond to treatment, the patient's organs may fail and cause death.
Invasive candidiasis may result when a person's own Candida organisms, normally found in the digestive tract, enter the bloodstream. On rare occasions, it can also occur when medical equipment or devices become contaminated with Candida. In either case, the infection may spread throughout the body.
Invasive candidiasis is usually diagnosed by either culture of blood or tissue or by examining samples of infected tissue under the microscope. Invasive candidiasis is usually treated with an antifungal agent called amphotericin B that is given intravenously(IV) (in the vein) or it may be treated with the azole drugs taken by mouth or IV.