Candida parapsilosis

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1. Description and significance

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why you think it is important.

  • Include as many headings as are relevant to your microbe. Consider using the headings below, as they will allow readers to quickly locate specific information of major interest*

2. Classification

a. Higher order taxa

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3. Genome structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence?

4. Cell structure

Interesting features of cell structure. Can be combined with “metabolic processes”

5. Metabolic processes

Describe important sources of energy, electrons, and carbon (i.e. trophy) for the organism/organisms you are focusing on, as well as important molecules it/they synthesize(s).

6. Ecology

Habitat; symbiosis; contributions to the environment.

7. Pathology

C. parapsilosis is a pathogenic fungus that is easily spread within susceptible populations of humans and animals. The fungus causes sepsis, endocarditis, endophthalmitis, fungemia, peritonitis, and arthritis in humans. It is most commonly found on prosthetic devices, catheters, and other medical tools that are touched by healthcare workers [10]. The virulence of C. parapsilosis is increased by the its ability to form biofilms on these medical devices and grow from prolonged attachment [1]. Furthermore, the fungus can easily spread from healthcare worker to patient if thorough hand-washing is not performed prior to contact [10]. In the body, C. parapsilosis colonizes around the implanted device and attaches to mucosal surfaces nearby. Biofilm production serves as protection and makes the microbe resistant to antifungal medications [10]. This makes it difficult for natural immune cells to fight off the fungus since they are unable to attach onto the slippery surface of the biofilm. Thus, C. parapsilosis is ultimately responsible for causing post-surgical complications and premature death in susceptible populations. The most at-risk population of contracting an infection are neonatal patients, intensive care patients, and immunocompromised patients [1]. Unlike other Candida species, such as C. albicans, C. parapsilosis is not an obligate pathogen and only causes candidiasis in these specific populations [7]. C. parapsilosis can also affect the immune systems of animals in a similar manner. Animals can ingest the pathogen from soil, insects, and other environmental sources, leading to infection and death [10]. In addition to C. parapsilosis’ ability to defend itself against the immune response and antifungal medication, it is also able to hide from detection [11]. Histopathology signatures for C. parapsilosis are useful in identifying the fungus’ infectious pathway. However, they are not always detected upon screening [11]. In one study, blood and lung cultures of neonates who died from a C. parapsilosis infection were analyzed for any histopathological signatures. Upon autopsy and immunostaining, 61% of the population was found to have significant fungal presence, but only 14 out of the 187 neonates were initially diagnosed with a C. parapsilosis induced infection [11]. The overwhelming prevalence of C. parapsilosis in the majority of the studied population went undetected by normal screening methods, showing that C. parapsilosis infections often go underdiagnosed.

8. Current Research

Include information about how this microbe (or related microbes) are currently being studied and for what purpose

9. References

It is required that you add at least five primary research articles (in same format as the sample reference below) that corresponds to the info that you added to this page. [Sample reference] Faller, A., and Schleifer, K. "Modified Oxidase and Benzidine Tests for Separation of Staphylococci from Micrococci". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 1981. Volume 13. p. 1031-1035.