Candida parapsilosis is an yeast that belongs to the Candida family. It is commonly associated with blood, wound and tissue infections in individuals with reduced immunity, such as hospitalized patients and premature infants. In fact, according to a March 2002 study published in "Diagnostic Microbiology and Disease," while the number of infections caused by Candida albicans, the most common candida species, has remained fairly stable over the past 40 years, infections due to Candida parapsilosis has increased considerably. Most infections of Candida parapsilosis are severe and require prompt treatment in a hospital setting.
When blood or other systemic infections are suspected by the physician, broad-spectrum antibiotics that are effective against a wide variety of microorganisms are prescribed initially. However, if the laboratory tests confirm that the infection is due to Candida parapsilosis, anti-fungals that are effective against it are prescribed. According to John Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology Center, amphoterecin B is the first choice and is usually administered intravenously for 2 to 5 days until the infection is under control. This is followed by oral administration of the drug for 2 to 4 weeks for complete eradication of the yeast. Many patients may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, joint pain and weight loss, especially with intravenous administration of amphoterecin B.
Azole family drugs such as fluconazole and voriconazole can be also be prescribed. However, Candida parapsilosis demonstrates significant drug resistance against them. Thus, azole drugs should be used only if the laboratory tests indicate that the strain of Candida parapsilosis is susceptible to them.
An article published in the 2006 edition of the "Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases" reports a case of Candida parapsilosis arthritis that has been treated successfully with another anti-fugal known as caspofungin, which can be administered intravenously and acts by disrupting the candida cell wall. Caspofungin has fewer side effects compared to amphoterecin B, but these may include upset stomach and headache.
Many patients with Candida parapsilosis blood infections may experience shortness of breath and disorientation. Oxygen therapy, which involves administration of oxygen in concentrations higher than that in the room environment using a simple face mask or a nasal cannula, can provide relief from the symptoms.
Intravenous fluids such as saline, which contains 0.9 percent sodium chloride, are given using an intravenous drip and an IV access device such as a needle or a peripheral cannula. IV fluid administration treats low blood pressure that may be associated with Candida parapsilosis blood infections.
Anti-pyretics are drugs that can bring down the fever that may occur in patients with Candida parapsilosis infection. Drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin can be given orally or intravenously, depending on the condition of the patient. Anti-pyretics can also help reduce the side effects of amphoterecin B. MayoClinic.com, however, warns against the use of aspirin in patients younger than 18 years of age due to the risk of developing a serious condition known as Reye's syndrome, which is characterized by swelling of the liver and brain.