Mixed infections require broad diagnostic and therapeutic expertise. There are interactions between pathogens, between infections and organ disorders – and different therapies influence each other.
Assuming knowledge of diagnostics and microbiology, pathogens can easily be found. However, this is not a matter of course. It requires a target-oriented approach from specimen collection to laboratory analysis. Due to the interplay between pathogens, this can be very important if the therapy is not to fail but is to be tolerated and successful.
The simultaneous correct treatment of multiple infections requires well-founded experience in mycological diagnostics and therapy. Infections with so-called microscopically large pathogens (such as parasites), with fungi (pathogenic yeasts) and disease-causing bacteria can sometimes cause similar or identical diseases.
This particularly holds applicable to the frequently occurring simultaneous infection with Helicobacter pylori and pathogenic yeasts such as Candida albicans. Both can cause similar symptoms. It only makes sense to search for both pathogens - and to involve other partner because of the dangers of mutually transmitted infections ("ping-pong effect" with partners)!
The therapy against the bacteria often fails without the treatment of the yeasts. Be careful! Antibiotics that are used, for instance, to treat H. pylori lead directly to the multiplication of yeasts. The trigger factor of the yeasts is crucial for the failure of a therapy with actually effective antibiotics against the bacteria.
This failure of certain antibiotics against bacteria cannot be compensated by switching to other antibiotics. After all, the cause lies in the mixed infection. If the treatment of bacteria leads to a considerable increase in yeasts, then these are complications that can easily be avoided with systematic treatment.
Problem germs such as certain staphylococci, staph. aureus, Klebsiellen and other so-called beta-lactam formers multiply stably in the environment of yeasts without antibiotics. These findings are of great importance for understanding an advanced disease pattern. If they are not taken into account, complications may occur that can no longer be controlled.
There is a real symbiosis between some bacteria and pathogenic yeasts. Their circumstances are not fully clarified scientifically, but the experiences in treatment are clear. If this is not taken into account, the resistance of pathogens to antibiotics can be increased.
Prof. Friedrich Staib † (Robert Koch Institute) has already shown that Staphylococcus aureus proliferates directly in the environment of Candida albicans (here in the oral cavity and in the intestine). He and others also pointed out that when the yeasts are removed, most staphylococci are significantly reduced or can no longer be detected after a certain period of time without the need for special therapy. Experts will recognise that this is a great opportunity to avoid life-threatening forms of sepsis in intensive care medicine, for instance in intensive care units.
In the therapy of mixed infections, these findings can be used to improve the success rate of the therapy, the tolerability and the sustainability of the entire treatment.