What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)
- C. Albicans RNA Swab Test
- Candida Albicans RNA Swab Test
- Infectious Agent Detection by Nucleic Acid, Candida Species, Swab Test
What is Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test? (Background Information)
- Candida albicans (or C. albicans) is a species of fungi that is naturally present in the oral and genital tract in humans. It may infect individuals with a weakened immune system or those who use certain antibiotics
- Fungi (plural for fungus) are a diverse, complex group of microscopic organisms. A small subset may cause diseases in healthy individuals, which are usually mild. However, those with weakened immune systems may experience severe forms of the illness
- Fungi undergo a complex, two-phase life cycle. During their vegetative phase, fungi grow and develop. They then reproduce during their reproductive phase
- Yeasts are fungi that are single-celled and grow filaments during their reproductive phase. Molds are multi-celled and filamentous throughout their life cycles
- Many disease-causing fungi switch between yeast and mold forms depending on the temperature of their surroundings. At room temperature (25°C), they grow as multicellular molds. They then convert to single-celled yeasts, when they enter a human host (body temperature 37°C)
- C. albicans exist in up to 80% of the human population without causing harmful effects. This is because their growth is kept in check by the immune system and competition with other microorganisms
- Antibiotics may disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the oral and genital tract and create conditions that favor C. albicans growth over other microorganisms. This is especially true, if C. albicans possess antibiotic resistance
- The Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test identifies candida present in the vaginal fluid in females and in swab from the penis in males. It uses a technique called PCR to detect traces of specific RNA that candida is known to possess, but that which is absent in humans
What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test?
Following are the clinical indications (present in the genital region) for performing the Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test:
- Foul-smelling discharge
How is the Specimen Collected for Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test?
Following is the specimen collection process for Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test:
Sample required: Genital swab
Process: Swabbing the genitals with a Q-tip-like device.
Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.
What is the Significance of the Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test Result?
- A positive Candida Albicans RNA PCR Swab Test may indicate infection with Candida albicans
- This test is considered to be a rapid test, which is also specific and sensitive
The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.
Additional and Relevant Useful Information:
- Evolutionarily, fungi are very closely related to humans. This makes fungal infections difficult to treat, because the number of specific ways a drug can target a fungus (but not a human) is limited
- Over 50,000 different species of fungi exist in nature. Of these, less than 200 species can infect humans and only 50 commonly do so
Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.
Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information: