Sweet’s syndrome and an increased risk of developing thrush

Links checked 3/04/17.

What is thrush?

Thrush is a very common fungal (yeast) infection that is caused by Candida albicans.

How is it caused?

Candida organisms live harmlessly in your gut, and in one in five women reside in the vagina. They usually coexist with other normal organisms in the body, and are kept in check by the immune system and good bacteria. However, if the immune system becomes weakened, the natural balance of the body is upset, or good bacteria are destroyed, Candida infection can develop. This can affect both the mucosa, e.g. the lining of the mouth, anus and genitals, and the skin. Less commonly, it can cause a deep-seated or persistent infection.

Are people with Sweet’s syndrome at increased risk of developing thrush?


A 1992 case-study showed that Sweet’s syndrome can affect the immune system’s ability to deal with fungal infection (Driesch et al, 1992). The study involved 7 patients with active Sweet’s syndrome, and in 5 out of 7 of these patients the white blood cells (immune cells that help the body fight infection) had a diminished ability to kill Candida albicans fungal spores.

Further information.

Oakley, A. (2003) Candida. DermNet NZ (online). Accessed 3/04/17.


Driesch, P., Simon, M., Gomez, R. and Hornstein, O. (1992) Impairment of some granulocyte functions in Sweet’s syndrome. Acta Dermato- Venereologica;72(2):109-11 (PubMed).

© 2012-2017 Sweet’s Syndrome UK


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