The faeces from 100 children under 14 years receiving no antibiotic or steroid therapy were examined for Candida spp. The proportion (8%) of positive isolates is compared with the number of Candida spp. isolated from the faces of 50 children receiving oral tetracycline (14%) and 59 children on phenoxymethyl penicillin (10%) for complaints other than gastrointestinal infections. The use of selective media is described and the significance of the greatly increased numbers of Candida spp. found by these methods is discussed.
In this series no clinical manifestations of candidiasis were observed, although slightly more Candida spp. were recovered from the two groups of children on oral antibiotics than from those not on such therapy. It is suggested that, in children at least, there is a need to re-assess the significance of the presence of Candida in the bowel during the administration of oral antibiotics. The almost complete absence of active tetracycline from the faeces and the small proportion of tetracycline-sensitive bowl organisms, coupled with the low incidence of change in bowel flora in these patients, suggest that this is not the reason for proliferation of Candida in the cases that do occasionally occur.
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