Caption: Candida albicans infected medical catheter. Catheters used in patients can become infected with fungi or bacteria. A common yeast, Candida albicans (fungus), can colonize catheters resulting in serious tissue infections. Shown here is the inner surface of an infected catheter (removed from a patient) revealing a yeast biofilm (Candida albicans). Catheters are more commonly infected on the external surface where yeast or bacteria biofilms can easily form. A catheter is a usually small tube that is inserted in to body cavity, duct or vessel. Catheters allow for injection of fluids, drainage or insertion of surgical instruments. Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus commonly occurring on human skin, in the upper respiratory, alimentary & female genital tracts. This fungus has a dimorphic life cycle with a yeast and hyphal stages. The yeast produces hyphae (strands) from which pseudohyphae branch. The pseudohyphae can give rise to yeast cells by apical or lateral budding. Candida albicans causes candidiasis which includes thrush (an infection of the mouth & vagina) and vulvo-vaginitis. In addition, it can be found as a biofilm on (and in) infected or contaminated catheters.
Magnification*: x480
Type: SEM
Copyright 2010 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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