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Disease of the Diseased

When: Wednesday, 21 October 2020 - Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Where: Online Event
Start time:17:00
Enquiries:

rechelle.tsunke@wits.ac.za 

Professor Mrudula Patel from the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease in Faculty of Health Sciences will present her inaugural lecture.

Oral candidiasis or candidosis is the most common oral opportunistic infection seen in immunocompromised patients. Although the mortality rate due to this infection is low, morbidity is high due to the pain while eating, swallowing and talking. This has consequences such as weight loss, nutritional deficiencies and further reduction in immunity. Untreated oral candidiasis can disseminate to other parts of the body causing serious illness and death. Patients with HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, organ transplant, and cancer patients, who are on treatment, are particularly vulnerable to this infection. The causative agent is a group of Candida species, with C. albicans being the most common species.

Although it is a commensal, systemic and local host factors, as well as phenotypic and genotypic, characteristics of Candida can convert it into a pathogenic state which can cause pathology and provoke an immune-inflammatory reaction. Patel and colleagues have studied some of these aspects to understand this switch between the commensal and pathogenic state. Systemic and topical antifungal agents, such as polyene or azole are used to treat this infection.

However, these therapeutic agents are toxic and have side effects. In addition, C. albicans is developing resistance to some of these antifungal agents. This infection is recurrent in these patients and therefore a preventative approach is favourable. Cheap and easily accessible remedies are generally preferred due to its required regular use. Their research findings have shown some promising remedies.

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