Tag Archives: Candida

Millingtonia hortensis

Botanical Name :Millingtonia hortensis
Family:Bignoniaceae
Genus: MillingtoniaL.f.
Species: M. hortensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:Tree Jasmine or Indian Cork Tree.It is known as Akash Mallige in Kannada, Akash Malli or Mara Malli in Tamil, Kavuki in Telugu, Pip in Thai: and Mini Chameli in Hindi, Akash Mallee in Oriya and Akash Neem in bengal.

Habitat :Millingtonia hortensis is a tree native to South East Asia.

Description:
The tree grows to height of between 18 to 25 metres and has a spread of 7 to 11 metres. It reaches maturity between 6 to 8 years of age and lives for up to 40 years. It is a versatile tree which can grow in various soil types and climates with a preference for moist climates.

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Stem:The tree is evergreen and has an elongated pyramidal stem. The soft, yellowish-white wood is brittle and can break under strong gusts of wind.

Leaf: The leaf is imparipinnate and resembles that of the neem. Leaves are prone to attack by Acherontia styx and Hyblaea puera.

Flower: The tree flowers twice a year and the white flowers come as large panicles which emit a pleasant fragrance. They are bisexual and zygomorphic. The bell-shaped sepals of the flower have five small lobes. The flower has four stamens with parallel anthers unlike in most other plants of this family where the anthers are divergent. The corolla is a long tube with five lobes.

Fruit and seed : The fruit is a smooth flat capsule and is partitioned into two. It contains broad-winged seeds. The fruits are fed on by birds which aid in seed dispersal. In cultivation, the viability of seeds is low unless they are sown immediately after the fruit ripens, so the plant is generally propagated through cuttings.

Medicinal Uses:
Dried flower: smoke for treatment of asthma. Root: lung tonic, antiasthmatic; volatile active constitu­ent hispidulin, exhibits better bronchodilatic effect than aminophylline. No toxicity found.

Antifungal activities of different extracts of Millingtonia hortensis were investigated against various fungal pathogens. Methanol extract was found to have stronger activity than fluconazole against yeast like fungi: 4 fold against Candida krusei with 4 µg/ml minimal inhibitory concentration and 2 fold (MIC- 2 µg/ml) against Sacharomyces cerevisiae , though it showed the same activity as fluconazole against Candida glabrata . Aqueous extract also exhibited 4 fold stronger activity against Candida krusei (MIC- 4 µg/ml) and 4 fold (MIC; 2 µg/ml) against Sacharomyces cerevisiae . Chloroform and ethyl acetate extract showed lower activities against all fungal pathogens except for Candida krusei, compared with the standard. Against the filamentous fungus, Trichosporon cutaneum , all extracts showed less activity than the standard.

Other Uses:
The tree is considered ornamental and the pleasant fragrance of the flowers renders it ideal as a garden tree. The wood is also used as timber and the bark is used as an inferior substitute for cork. The leaves are also used as a cheap substitute for tobacco in cigarettes.Its flowers are used in the rituals. Its bark is used to produce yellow dye.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millingtonia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Millingtonia_hortensis_(Akash_Neem)_in_Hyderabad,_AP_W_IMG_1483.jpg
http://www.ecoindia.com/flora/trees/cork-tree.html
http://www.ijpsonline.com/article.asp?issn=0250-474X;year=2007;volume=69;issue=4;spage=599;epage=601;aulast=Sharma

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Oral thrush

Alternative Names: Candidiasis – oral; Oral thrush; Fungal infection – mouth; Candide – oral

Definition:
Oral thurs  is an infection of yeast fungi of the genus Candida on the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue. It is frequently caused by Candida albicans, or less commonly by Candida glabrata or Candida tropicalis. Oral thrush may refer to candidiasis in the mouths of babies, while if occurring in the mouth or throat of adults it may also be termed candidosis or moniliasis…

 

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Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it’s more likely to occur in babies and people who wear dentures, use inhaled corticosteroids or have compromised immune systems. Oral thrush is a minor problem if you’re healthy, but if you have a weakened immune system, symptoms of oral thrush may be more severe and difficult to control.

Symtoms:
Signs and symptoms of oral infection by Candida species may not be immediately noticeable but can develop suddenly and may persist for a long time. The infection usually appears as thick white or cream-colored deposits on mucosal membranes such as the tongue, inner cheeks, gums, tonsils, and palate. The infected mucosa may appear inflamed (red and possibly slightly raised) and sometimes have a cottage cheese-like appearance. The lesions can be painful and will become tender and often bleed if rubbed or scraped. Cracking at the corners of the mouth, a cottony-like sensation inside the mouth, and even temporary loss of taste can occur.

In more severe cases, the infection can spread down the esophagus and cause difficulty swallowing – this is referred to as Esophageal candidiasis. Thrush does not usually cause a fever unless the infection has spread beyond the esophagus to other body parts, such as the lungs (systemic candidiasis).

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In addition to the distinctive lesions, infants can become irritable and may have trouble feeding. The infection can be communicated during breast-feeding to and from the breast and the infant’s mouth repeatedly

Causes:
Thrush is caused by forms of a fungus called Candida. A small amount of this fungus lives in your mouth most of the time. It is usually kept in check by your immune system and other types of germs that also normally live in your mouth.

 

However, when your immune system is weaker, the fungus can grow, leading to sores (lesions) in your mouth and on your tongue. The following can increase your chances of getting thrush:

•Taking steroid medications
•Having an HIV infection or AIDS
•Receiving chemotherapy for cancer or drugs to suppress your immune system following an organ transplant
•Being very old or very young
•Being in poor health
Thrush is commonly seen in infants. It is not considered abnormal in infants unless it lasts longer than a couple of weeks.

Candida can also cause yeast infections in the vagina.

People who have diabetes and had high blood sugar levels are more likely to get thrush in the mouth (oral thrush), because the extra sugar in your saliva acts like food for Candida.

Taking high doses of antibiotics or taking antibiotics for a long time also increases the risk of oral thrush. Antibiotics kill some of the healthy bacteria that help keep Candida from growing too much.

People with poorly fitting dentures are also more likely to get thrush.

Risk Factors:
*Newborn babies.

*Diabetics with poorly controlled diabetes.

*As a side effect of medication, most commonly having taken antibiotics. Inhaled corticosteroids for treatment of lung conditions (e.g., asthma or COPD) may also result in oral candidiasis: the risk may be reduced by regularly rinsing the mouth with water after taking the medication.

*People with an immune deficiency (e.g. as a result of AIDS/HIV or chemotherapy treatment).

*Women undergoing hormonal changes, like pregnancy or those on birth control pills.

*Denture users.

*Tongue piercing

Complications:
Oral thrush is seldom a problem for healthy children and adults, although the infection may return even after it’s been treated. For people with compromised immune systems, however, thrush can be more serious.

If you have HIV, you may have especially severe symptoms in your mouth or esophagus, which can make eating painful and difficult. If the infection spreads to the intestines, it becomes difficult to receive adequate nutrition. In addition, thrush is more likely to spread to other parts of the body if you have cancer or other conditions that weaken the immune system. In that case, the areas most likely to be affected include the digestive tract, lungs and liver.

Diagnosis;
Oral thrush can usually be diagnosed simply by looking at the lesions, but sometimes a small sample is examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

In older children or adolescents who have no other identified risk factors, an underlying medical condition may be the cause of oral thrush. If your doctor suspects that to be the case, your doctor will perform a physical exam as well as recommend certain blood tests to help find the source of the problem.

If thrush is in your esophagus
Thrush that extends into the esophagus can be serious. To help diagnose this condition, your doctor may ask you to have one or more of the following tests:

*Throat culture. In this procedure, the back of your throat is swabbed with sterile cotton and the tissue sample cultured on a special medium to help determine which bacteria or fungi, if any, are causing your symptoms.

*Endoscopic examination. In this procedure, your doctor examines your esophagus, stomach and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum), using a lighted, flexible tube with a camera on the tip (endoscope).

Treatment:
For thrush in infants, treatment is often NOT necessary. It generally gets better on its own within 2 weeks.

If you develop a mild case of thrush after taking antibiotics, eating yogurt or taking over-the-counter acidophilus capsules can help.

Use a soft toothbrush and rinse your mouth with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution several times a day.

Good control of blood sugar levels in persons with diabetes may be all that is needed to clear a thrush infection.

Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash (nystatin) or lozenges (clotrimazole) to suck on if you have a severe case of thrush or a weakened immune system. These products are usually used for 5 – 10 days. If they don’t work, other medication may be prescribed.

If the infection has spread throughout your body or you have HIV/AIDS, stronger medications may be used, such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or ketoconazole (Nizoral).

Prognosis:
Thrush in infants may be painful, but is rarely serious. Because of discomfort, it can interfere with eating. If it does not resolve on its own within 2 weeks, call your pediatrician.

In adults, thrush that occurs in the mouth can be cured. However, the long-term outlook is dependent on your immune status and the cause of the immune deficit.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000626.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_candidiasis
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/oralthrush2.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oral-thrush/DS00408

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/17284.htm

http://www.clivir.com/lessons/show/yeast-infection-in-mouth-and-throat.html

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Lavender Oil has Potent Antifungal Effect

Lavender oil could be used to combat the increasing incidence of antifungal-resistant infections, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.

Scientists tested lavender oil and found it to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida. Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails, and Candida species can cause mucocutaneous candidosis, also known as thrush.

Science Daily reports:
“Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections and those that are available often have side effects … Essential oils distilled from the Lavandula genus of lavender plants are already used widely, particularly in the food, perfume and cosmetic industries. Studies of the biological activities of these oils suggest Lavandula oils have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well being potent antimicrobials and antioxidants.”

Resources:
Science Daily February 16, 2011
Journal of Medical Microbiology February 14, 2011

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Vitamin B3 Identified as a Potential Antifungal Treatment

A team of scientists have identified vitamin B3 as a potential antifungal treatment. Infections by the yeast Candida albicans represent a significant public health problem and a common complication in immunodeficient individuals such as AIDS patients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and recipients of organ transplants. While some treatments are available, their efficacy can be compromised by the emergence of drug-resistant strains.

The current study shows that a C. albicans enzyme, known as Hst3, is essential to the growth and survival of the yeast. Researchers found that genetic or pharmacological inhibition of Hst3 with nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, strongly reduced C. albicans virulence in a mouse model. Both normal and drug-resistant strains of C. albicans were susceptible to nicotinamide. In addition, nicotinamide prevented the growth of other pathogenic Candida species and Aspergillus fumigatus (another human pathogen), thus demonstrating the broad antifungal properties of nicotinamide.

“There is an urgent need to develop new therapies to kill C. albicans because it is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections and is associated with high mortality rates,” explains study author Martine Raymond. “Although many issues remain to be investigated, the results of our study are very exciting and they constitute an important first step in the development of new therapeutic agents to treat fungal infections without major side effects for patients.”


Source
: Elements4Health

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Total Cure for Fungal Infections Found

Fungal infections can be deadly as fungus germs have developed resistance to drug treatment. But now researchers have found a way to make  drugs more effective in clearing all fungal infections.
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Led by Toronto University professor Leah Cowen, an international team has discovered that the fungal pathogen or germ called Candida albicans, resists drug treatment because of an associated protein called heat shock protein 90 or Hsp90.

Candida albicans can cause from superficial infections such as yeast infections to life-threatening infections in the bloodstream.

These fungal infections can be deadly for people with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients or those undergoing treatment for cancer or organ transplantation.

Doctors say Candida albicans are the fourth leading cause of hospital acquired infectious diseases.

But the researchers have now found a way to fight fungal infections by knock out its associate protein, a Toronto University statement said Friday.

The researchers say that compromising Hsp90 protein makes the fungal-fighting drugs (known as echinocandins) more effective in killing fungal germs or Candida albicans.

“Our results suggest that interfering with Hsp90 function provides a powerful and much-needed strategy to render existing antifungal drugs more effective in the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections,” the statement quoted Cowen as saying.

The researchers discovered that impairing the function of germs’ protein Hsp90 by using potent drugs or genetic techniques made the fungus much more prone to killing by echinocandins.

They said this strategy was found effective in both lab experiments and mouse models.

The researchers said treating patients with a drug that inhibits Hsp90 along with an echinocandin will have major benefits for people with life-threatening fungal disease.

Source:
The study was published  in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

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