Candida parapsilosis – A fungal infection-Erakina

Candida parapsilosis (C. parapsilosis) is a member of the Candida species, a type of yeast commonly present on the skin’s surface. 

Small green spheres with brown substance attached

Close-up of yeast with the presence of brown structures attached

Ashford, in 1928, was the first to observe C. parapsilosis from a diarrhea stool. Later, this bacteria was observed as one of the pathogenic agents that causes sepsis in wounds. C. parapsilosis can cause sepsis in wounds of patients whose immune system is suppressed. The Candida species are found to present commonly in hospitals. Therefore, patients tend to get infected by these bacteria in hospitals; the infection is frequently called candidiasis. C. parapsilosis causes fungal infections in the skin wounds, inside the mouth, and around the genitals. Moreover, this species of bacteria infects patients with suppressed immune systems, such as newborn babies and intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Additionally, the most common invasive type of this bacteria species is via the bloodstream, and this fungal infection is called candidemia, which is found in hospitalised patients. Since the bacteria are present on the skin and hands, the hospital staff handling the patients without gloves can transfer the bacteria to the patients. Additionally, C. parapsilosis are also transmitted from the hospital instruments such as catheters. 

Table of Contents

A Brief Introduction – Candida parapsilosis

Effect on humans


A Brief Introduction – Candida parapsilosis

The morphology of Candida parapsilosis consists of an oval, cylindrical, or round-shaped structure. The morphological structure is associated with producing certain biochemicals, such as citrulline and amino acids. These biochemicals cause morphological changes in the bacterial colony. The visual characteristics of C. parapsilosis in its cultured media show smooth or wrinkled colonies that are shiny, white, and creamy in texture. At the microscopic level, the physical structure of C. parapsilosis is observed to exist in either form as a yeast or as pseudohyphae. This is advantageous to this bacteria strain as they can survive under general environmental conditions. 

Grey coloured oval and cylindrical structures

Close-up of Candida parapsilosis

Candida species are yeast known for causing infections in humans. Usually, these species are present on the skin and inside the body. Although Candida is not infected when present on the body’s surface, they become infectious when entered deep inside the body. As inside the body provides optimal conditions for the growth of Candida parapsilosis, the bacteria grows out of control, thus causing infections. The bacteria thrive in a medium containing high glucose levels, later secreting hydrolytic enzymes and adhesins and forming a biofilm that causes the virulence nature of this bacteria. The bacteria grow well inside the human body by forming biofilms on the implanted devices and catheters. These bacteria also grow in insects, animals, soil, and marine environments. 

Effect on humans

The humans at risk of being infected with Candida parapsilosis are newborn babies and immunocompromised patients. The patients with HIV, and other immunosuppressed diseases, including patients who have undergone surgeries. Other patients at risk include diabetic, cancer patients, and those who have undergone organ transplantations. 

Small different coloured spherical structures

Close-up of growth of yeast  

The onset of candidemia infection displays fever, then the patient suffers from renal failure, finally going into septic shock that becomes fatal if not treated. C. parapsilosis also causes fungal endocarditis that affects the patients who have undergone heart surgery. Acute meningitis is affected in newborn babies that use hyperalimentation solutions and patients who have undergone transplantation surgeries. Other infections caused by C. parapsilosis include; peritonitis, ocular infection, vulvovaginitis, arthritis, urinary tract infection, onychomycosis, and otomycosis. 


Multiple infections caused by Candida parapsilosis are treated separately based on the type of infection. The best way to control or prevent diseases caused by Candida parapsilosis is by thoroughly sanitising hospital instruments and equipment that are used intravenously for patients. Catheters should be replaced at certain time intervals to reduce any risk of infection. Finally, the most important preventive measure to be followed is self sanitisation by the health workers before treating patients to limit any transmission of Candida parapsilosis

Asha Rachel Thomas


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