Viruses, Fungi and Prostatitis Causes
Viruses and fungi may cause chronic prostatitis. However, chronic prostatitis caused by viruses or fungi is much less common than cases caused by bacteria.
One virus that may have a role in prostatitis is the herpes simplex virus. This virus is associated with the sexually transmitted disease commonly referred to as herpes. Many people who contract herpes do not know they have the disease because they do not have symptoms. Individuals who do have genital or rectal blisters often have few problems with them and the blisters fade after a few weeks.
When herpes blisters open, the virus can spread from the fluid that is released. Some experts propose that the herpes virus leaves the open blisters in the rectum and travels to the prostate gland, where it triggers an infection. In rare cases, another virus called Cryptococcus neoformans can cause prostatitis in men who have a compromised immune system.
Not everyone agrees that viruses can cause prostatitis, however. One study evaluated 20 tissue samples from men who had chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome for viruses: cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2, and human papilloma viruses. None of the samples showed signs of viruses.
Fungi also may be associated with prostatitis, especially in men who have a compromised immune system. Cancer, HIV, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases can weaken the immune system. Men who have taken multiple courses of antibiotics could be at risk for fungal infections because the use of certain antibiotics can destroy helpful bacteria that help regulate certain fungi such as Candida albicans. Types of fungi that may be associated with prostatitis include Candida albicans, non-albicans Candida species, Aspergilla spp., Cryptococcus spp., Coccidioides immitis, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Blastomyces dermatitidis.
These fungi can cause changes in the prostate gland that make it appear that men have a bacterial infection, an enlarged prostate, or abnormal cell growth. To make a proper diagnosis, urine cultures or a prostate biopsy is necessary. Different fungi require different treatment, so accurate identification is important.
Generally, viruses and fungi are uncommon causes of prostatitis. In men who have a weakened immune system, doctors may look for fungi as a cause of chronic prostatitis.
Men with prostatitis caused by viruses and fungi may find relief in natural prostatitis treatments such as probiotics, phytotherapy, and supplements that offer immune system support. Another good idea may to look at diet for prostatitis and learn what foods to avoid.