The resident microbiota in the human body, such as the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and genitourinary tract, is able to provide resistance to disease. However, imbalances in the microbial components can promote the growth of opportunistic microorganisms, such as yeasts of genus Candida. Fungal infections present as a major cause of infectious diseases and the microorganisms of genus Candida are the most frequently isolated pathogenic fungi in human fungal infections. Bacillus spp. and Lactobacillus spp. are bacteria that have probiotic effects used in commercially available products and in studies that aim for the development of probiotics able to inhibit the microbial pathogenicity and restore the balance of resident microbiota. Thus, with increasing fungus resistance to the use of antifungal agents, which are capable of causing serious side effects to the host organism unable to destroy the target microorganism, it becomes important to develop therapeutic and/or prophylactic alternatives that have a different and an effective mechanism of action with capacity to combat fungal infections without harming the patient. Probiotic bacteria provide an alternative strategy for the prevention and treatment of candidiasis and other infectious diseases.
Part of the book: Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health