The main difference between Candida and Cryptococcus is that Candida relies on skin and mucosal breaches, causing bloodstream infections, whereas Cyroptococcus exhibits depressed cell-mediated immunity.
Candida and Cryptococcus are two types of fungi that can cause infections in humans. However, Candida is a genus that belongs to the division Ascomycota, while Cryptococcus is a genus that belongs to the division Basidiomycota.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Candida
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What is Cryptococcus
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. Similarities – Candida and Cryptococcus
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Candida and Cryptococcus
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Candida
Candida is the genus of yeast that cause infections, and it is the most common type of fungal infection worldwide. Candida makes the largest genus, with medically important fungi. The genus Candida contains around 200 species. However, many species of Candida live as commensals and endosymbionts in humans. When there is a disruption of mucosal membranes or when individuals have compromised immune systems, Candida species can invade and cause infections. Therefore, these infections are called opportunistic infections. Candida occurs in most mucosal surfaces in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract.
Furthermore, Candida albicans is the most common species of fungal infection causing candidiasis or thrush. Many species of Candida occur in gut flora, including Candida albicans. They cause systemic infections in the bloodstream and organs in humans. Candida infections are common in people with compromised immune systems.
What is Cryptococcus
Cryptococcus is another genus of fungi that belongs to the division Basidiomycota. It is an invasive fungus and transfers through inhalation of spores. Fever, malaise, headache, photophobia, and neck stiffness as cryptococcal meningitis are the symptoms of the infection. These infections are commonly associated with immunocompromised individuals. The infection is rare in healthy individuals. In addition, immune suppression is common in people with AIDS, diabetes, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, prolonged use of steroids, and patients who have undergone organ transplantation.
Moreover, in Cryptococcus, Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gatti are the two species causing infections. Cryptococcus fungi are common in soil contaminated by bird droppings, decaying wood, and tree hollows. The presence of polysaccharides glucuronoxylomannan and glucuronoxylomannogalactan in the capsule of the fungus is a major contributing factor to the virulence of fungi in humans. In addition, initial infections are asymptomatic in healthy individuals.
Similarities Between Candida and Cryptococcus
- Candida and Cryptococcus are two types of fungi that cause infections in humans.
- Infections are more common in immunocompromised individuals.
- They contain a chitin cell wall.
Difference Between Candida and Cryptococcus
Candida refers to any of a genus (Candida) of parasitic fungi that resemble yeasts and occur especially in the mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract, while Cryptococcus refers to an invasive fungus that causes cryptococcosis, an infection commonly associated with immunosuppressive individuals.
Candida is a genus that belongs to the division Ascomycota, while Cryptococcus is a genus that belongs to the division Basidiomycota.
Type of Living
Moreover, Candida is commensal in humans, while Cryptococcus is pathogenic in humans.
Candida causes systemic infections in the bloodstream and organs, while Cryptococcus causes meningitis and meningoencephalitis in people with HIV/AIDS.
Furthermore, Candida relies on skin and mucosal breaches causing bloodstream infections, while Cyroptococcus exhibits depressed cell-mediated immunity.
In brief, Candida and Cryptococcus are two types of fungi that cause infections in humans. Candida belongs to the division Ascomycetes. It is commensal in humans. But it causes systemic infections in the bloodstream and organs. Candida relies on the skin and causes systemic infections. On the other hand, Cryptococcus is another fungus that belongs to the division Basidiomycota. It is pathogenic in humans and causes meningitis and meningoencephalitis in people with HIV infections. Therefore, the main difference between Candida and Cryptococcus is the type of infection.
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- Mada PK, Jamil RT, Alam MU. Cryptococcus. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-.