Bad Blood: Fungal Infections Can Lead to Septic Shock

In most instances, fungal infections do not enter the bloodstream, nor do they cause sepsis. However, fungal infections can lead to septic shock. This is particularly true for invasive candidiasis, a virulent, potentially life-threatening fungal infection.

Who’s at Risk of Developing Septic Shock from Fungal Infections?

The immune system can cope with fungal infections. However, people who are already suffering from an illness can be at risk because their immune system is weakened. People who have undergone an organ transplant, cancer patients and people with an auto-immune disease are just some of the risk groups.

What Is Invasive Candidiasis?

So, now that you know that fungal infections can lead to septic shock, let’s look at invasive candidiasis in more detail. After all, most fungal sepsis cases are caused by a candida infection. In most people, this infection does not lead to septic shock. In fact, only 5% of US septic shock incidents are thought to be caused by invasive candidiasis.

Nonetheless, let’s look at what happens to the body when someone sufferers from invasive candidiasis. Usually, the fungal infection enters the bloodstream via a medical device, so hospital patients are most at risk. After entering the bloodstream, the fungus travels to the heart and brain and can be life-threatening at that point. Septic shock is one of the complications of invasive candidiasis.


Aspergillosis is another fungal infection with the potential to cause septic shock, though incidents are extremely rare.

Final Thoughts

Fungal infections can lead to septic shock, with immunocompromised patients most at risk. Under normal circumstances, fungal infections are unlikely to enter the bloodstream. As research in this area is getting more sophisticated, doctors are watching out for potentially life-threatening fungal infection. This is crucial, especially in care homes and hospitals.

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