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Forum Name: Fungal infections

Question: Can a vaginal yeast infection become fungemia?


 shonuffsquatty - Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:15 pm

I have had a vaginal yeast infection since September. After multiple unsuccessful treatments, both OTC and Diflucan, I had a culture taken just before Thanksgiving. The nurse practitioner who has been treating me had them check for candida albicans, tropicalis, parapsilosis and glabrata. All came back negative.

Soon I'm going back for a new culture. Based on my non-expert Internet research, I should at the very least have them check for candida krusei. However, I've read in a couple of places that krusei is very serious - even fatal - if it gets into the bloodstream. How likely is it for a vaginal yeast infection to end up in the bloodstream? How worried should I be?

And any suggestions about other yeast species I should have the lab look for?

Thanks.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:45 pm

User avatar Hi there -

It is highly unlikely that a vaginal yeast infection could become systemic. They do, however, recur in some people, and can be a real aggravation requiring multiple therapies at times. You don't seem to have any of the more prominent strains.

As far as candida krusei, it is relatively rare, but becoming more common (as opposed to formerly extremly unusual, since it is mainly an industrial organism used in the production of chocolate). It is almost always seen in those who are immunocompromised either due to cancers of the bood (leukemias) and bone marrow diseases, as well as chemotherapy or HIV. It is also quite treatable by a number of antifungals but is resistant to the most popular one (fluconazole). CK is known to occasionally get into the bloodstream of immunocompromised patients with blood disease as mentioned above, and for those it can be extremely dangerous. Otherwise it's treated as other fungal diseases, but not with fluconazole.

If you don't have leukemia or some other blood-related cancer then you're at no additional risk from CK, should it turn out to be the fungus responsible for your infections.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please follow up with us as needed and keep us updated. Good luck to you.
 shonuffsquatty - Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:33 am

Well, strangely enough my latest lab tests came back negative for the four kinds of yeast we had them test for, including dubliensis and krusei (can't remember the other two offhand). Either someone screwed up, or I have something other than the eight most common Candida species. Weird.

My doctor has started me on a 90-day course of ketaconazole, 400mg daily. I hope the meds will take care of whatever it is I have. Thanks.

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