Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Candida albicans

Synonym(s): candidiasis, yeast

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Genus: Candida.
  • Species: albicans.


  • L: candidus, candere - to glisten.
  • L: albus - white.

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Clinical Effects



  • C. albicans colonizes mucocutaneous areas, especially alimentary and lower genital tracts, of mammals and birds.
  • Other Candida spp are found mainly in the external environment.


  • Typically grows as budding yeast cells (blastoconidia) on mucous membranes.
  • Under certain conditions of temperature, pH, nutrition and atmosphere germ tubes develop.
  • Pseudomycelium is produced by elongation of blastoconidia that fail to separate.
  • Thick-walled spheres of unknown function, "chlamydospores", occasionally formin vitro.


  • Usually endogenous.

Pathological effects

  • Immunosuppression is one predisposing factor to disease development due to this organism.
  • Main defense is neutrophil phagocytosis.
  • Neuraminidase and proteases may play a part in virulence.
  • Cell wall glycoproteins have an endotoxin-like activity.
  • Granulomas are rare; the inflammatory response is usually neutrophilic.
  • Lesions characterized by non-healing ulcers covered with white plaques.

Diseases caused

  • Candidiasis Skin: candidiasis.
  • Genital tract infection: equine, avian, human.
  • Stomatitis/enteric infection: young equine, procine, bovine, canine, humans.
  • Respiratory tract/lung infection: young bovine, feline, human.
  • Mastitis: bovine (usually mild infection - may be introduced during administration of antibiotics).

Other Host Effects

  • Common commensal on mucous membranes.


Control via animal

  • Correct underlying clinical condition, eg immunosuppressive disease.

Control via chemotherapies




  • None available.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Willard M D, Berridge B, Braniecki A et al (1998) Possible antibiotic-associated colitis in a dog. JAVMA 213 (12), 1775-1779, 1753-1754 PubMed.
  • McKellar Q A, Rycroft A, Anderson L et al (1990) Otitis externa in a foxhound pack associated with Candida albicans. Vet Rec 127 (1), 15-16 PubMed.
  • Pichler M E, Gross T L, Kroll W R et al (1985) Cutaneous and mucocutaneous candidiasis in a dog. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet (3), 225-228, 230 VetMedResource.