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Keywords:

  • Candida albicans;
  • infants;
  • mouth disease.

Asymptomatic oral candidal carriage has been extensively studied in adults, but only rarely in infants. The present investigation aimed to determine the asymptomatic oral carriage of candidal species in healthy infants and its relationship to age, sex, feeding pattern and use of a pacifier. The swab technique was used for oral candidal isolation. Candidal species were isolated from 48% of the infants without a significant relationship to age, gender or between breast-fed or bottle-fed infants. Similarly, a history of maternal vaginal candidosis, or presence of nappy rash, had no significant relationship to oral candidal carriage. Infants who routinely sucked a pacifier had a significantly higher rate of oral candidal carriage, suggesting a reservoir of infection.