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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Fungal Systemic Yeast
If a person in the family is diagnosed with a systemic yeast mycoplasm, is it contagious to other family members?
There is some confusion in your question, which I will try to sort: The word Yeast is associated with a fungal pathogen, including Candida, Histoplasma, Cryptococcus, Blastomyces. Infection with these fungi are currently referred to as systemic mycoses. You may have misheard systemic Histoplasma instead of systemic Mycoplasma. Is that is the case, the short answer about contagion is NO. The fungi that produce systemic infection are usually acquired from the environment and rarely, if at all, are transmitted from person to person. Candida is normal flora in the gastrointestinal and genital tract, and rarely may be transferred from one person to another through sexual contact, i.e. vaginal yeast infection may produce Candida penile infection in a sexual partner, but this is not a systemic infection. If you are referring to Mycoplasma, this is a bacterial-like organism, not a yeast. Some Mycoplasma species can produce upper respiratory infections, otitis media and atypical pneumonias, which can be transmissible from person to person in household contacts.
Francisco Gomez, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati