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July 15, 1983

Invasive Candidosis

Author Affiliations

Maimonides Medical Center Brooklyn, NY

JAMA. 1983;250(3):359. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340030021010

To the Editor.—  The term invasive candidosis is gaining popularity in distinguishing a true Candida infection from saprophytic colonization. This term fails to separate invasion limited to the stratum corneum, which is the rule in cutaneous candidosis, from deep invasion of the internal organs. A direct smear showing mycelia and yeasts distinguishes true infection from colonization of the skin. Harmless colonization with Candida does not exist in internal organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, or spleen. Deep-organ candidosis is the diagnostic problem for which the term invasive candidosis was devised. Why not call a spade a spade? Call it visceral, deep-organ, or systemic candidosis, inasmuch as multiple organ involvements are not uncommon. The term invasive candidosis obfuscates rather than defines the problem.