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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


Historia sucinta de Candida albicans, blanca pero no tanto. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.5, pp.429-430. ISSN 0716-1018.

From the begin of clinical microbiology in the second half of the nineteenth century, the fungi were neglected as contaminants without relevance for health, belonging the major advances of their study to the fields of milk derivatives and beer industries. However, the seek for the etiological agent of thrush, a very common oral pathology affecting the newborn, put the yeasts on the table near 1840 with three capital papers - Berg, Gruby and Bennett - speaking about spores from vegetable as parasites of animal and human beings. The door was open, and very soon, in 1853, came the decisive description by Robin of the Oidium albicans as the causative agent of this painful disease. Seventy years after, in 1923, Christine Marie Berkhout, rejecting this name, defined the genus as Candida, leaving the specie with the iterative Latin name of Candida albicans, that means “White-white”. Or, perhaps, with a fine sense of humor, she has made an oxymoron, because “candida” means a brilliant white and “albicans” a matt one, both opposite adjectives. Or, may be, Christine is still saying us: “White…but not so white”.

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