Candida is a polymorphic yeast, which means it produces both hyphae and pseudohyphae. It has been shown that Candida requires a transcription repressor in order to preserve its yeast form. This organism’s capacity to take numerous shapes may be connected to its pathogenicity. The yeast form has a diameter of 3-6 um, is gram positive, and develops overnight on most fungal substrates.

There are around 154 species in the genus Candida. Six of these are the most often isolated. Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei, and Candida lusitaniae have all been identified as causal agents of Candida infections.

Candidiasis in birds is usually, but not always, caused by the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans. It is fairly prevalent in the environment and may be present in tiny quantities in the digestive system of a typical bird. However, in some situations, it may cause disease. Because of their underdeveloped immune systems, very young birds, particularly those on antibiotics, may develop primary candidiasis. Adult birds receiving long-term antibiotics, starvation, or other diseases may develop secondary candidiasis. Antibiotics alter the usual flora of the digestive system, allowing the organism to proliferate. Candida albicans most often affects the crop, although it may also affect the proventriculus (muscular stomach) and nontriculus (glandular stomach). Candidiasis has also been linked to problems with the skin, respiratory tract, central nervous system, and other organs.


Yeast may be found in almost every setting, even rotten food. As a result, fresh fruits and vegetables should not be stored in the bird’s cage for extended periods of time. Food may rot in a matter of hours in the summer heat and humidity.

Yeast infections may also spread due to poor hygiene. Hand feeding equipment that has not been sterilized, incorrect cage cleaning, and simply not washing our hands may spread the yeast.

The majority of healthy birds will be unaffected. Secondary yeast infections are common in older birds, newborns, unwell birds, and stressed birds. Secondary infections place further strain on their already overworked immune systems and impede recuperation.


A candida infection of the crop may cause regurgitation, anorexia, and delayed crop emptying. Some birds have a mucus-filled crop that is enlarged or inflated. If oral candida is present, white plaques may form in the mouth. These must be distinguished from vitamin A insufficiency, chicken pox, and trichomoniasis (parasite). Irritation causes feather difficulties around the crop, and persistent infection causes beak deformities.


It is critical to remove old food from planes, maintain water clean, and avoid environmental or nutritional stress. Maintaining a general degree of cleanliness while handling and hand raising neonates can help prevent the illness from infecting young birds. It’s also crucial to note that overuse of antibiotics might raise the risk of fungal infections.


Nystatin is the most widely administered antifungal medication. This yellowish liquid solution is normally taken orally for 5 days or more. Although nystatin may be put straight into hand-feeding formula, it is most effective if given at full dose approximately 1/2 hour before feeding. This will allow it to cover the crop lining and fight the pathogenic Candida bacteria. Nystatin acts by breaking down fungal cell walls. Nystatin is poorly absorbed in the digestive system. This antifungal drug should not be administered arbitrarily or as a prophylactic measure. Candida may develop resistance to Nystatin as a result of chronic usage or insufficient or incorrect dose regimens. Do not assume that a bird treated with nystatin is Candida-free. Other antifungals besides Nystatin are required for certain resistant yeasts.

One of the newer medications, Diflucan, has shown to be beneficial in treating fungal infections. A suspension containing Nystatin and Diflucan was discovered to be a safe and effective Candida therapy. Candida infections in cockatiels may be exceedingly difficult to cure. When used correctly, Diflucan can cure Candidiasis in five days.

When Nystatin-resistant Candida strains emerge, oral ketoconazole (brand name Nizoral) is occasionally recommended. It is virtually insoluble in water, costly, and may be dangerous if handled incorrectly. The use of Nizoral on a very unwell or physically stressed bird might be lethal. Nizoral should only be administered under veterinarian supervision, in physically “healthy” birds, to treat yeast infection or as a prophylactic when antibiotic treatment is employed.

Flucytosine – 250mg/kg BID PO for 21 days

Ketoconazole (10-30 mg/kg BID for 21 days).

Fluconazole – 5mg/kg twice day for 7 days

100,000 units 1ml per 400 gram bird PO BID for 7 days


Clinical symptoms and the lack of bacterial infection might be used to make a preliminary diagnosis. In addition, samples may be obtained and cultivated in specially prepared culture medium. Candida albicans is a prevalent environmental pollutant. PCR and sequencing tests are critical tools for detecting Candida and identifying particular strains.


A cloacal swab and throat culture are advised for evaluating individual birds. If the sample is positive and the clinical indications are also positive, the bird should be quarantined and treatment should begin right once.

Environmental testing, such as swabbing aviaries, worktops, fans, air filters, nest boxes, and so on, is particularly successful in identifying the presence of candida in the environment. Remember that candida may be found naturally in certain circumstances and is not harmful.


Prior to delivery, samples should be kept at 4 degrees Celsius (refrigerator). Samples should be sent in a padded envelope or box. Regular mail is OK for sending samples, however overnight delivery is preferred.

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