Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis

Author: Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2003 2015. Updated September 2015.

What is chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis?

Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis is a rare condition occurring in childhood in which candida infection is persistent and widespread. It is also called chronic mucocutaneous candidosis.

Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis is due to primary immune deficiency. It is associated with various syndromes and laboratory abnormalities.

Rarely, chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis develops in adult life. This is often as a result of a thymoma (tumour of the thymus gland) and is associated with internal diseases such as myasthenia gravis, myositis, aplastic anaemia, neutropaenia and hypogammaglobulinaemia.

Clinical features of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis

Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis usually presents before the age of 3 years with one or more of the following:

Affected patients are also susceptible to infection with dermatophyte fungi (tinea) and human papilloma virus (warts).

How is chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, is made on clinical grounds. Microscopy and culture of skin swabs and scrapings confirm the presence of organisms.

How is chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis treated?

The underlying defect is not as yet treatable. Treatment depends on antifungal agents orally for repeated or prolonged courses often in higher doses than is normally necessary for candida infections.

Drug resistance may occur.

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