Pichia kudriavzevii is a yeast in the family Saccharomycetaceae.
P. kudriavzevii can be found in soil and on the outside of fruits and vegetables, often in the presence of other Pichia species. Although it is found on the outside of produce, it is not considered a species that is responsible for food spoilage. Instead, P. kudriavzevii can be helpful when developing an environmentally-friendly, bio-based candidate for food preservative and bio-control. It produces P. kudriavzevii RY55 toxin, which can kill several human health pathogens and contribute to food preservation.
P. kudriazvevii can be present without causing harm, however, in some cases it is pathogenic. Some would consider P. kudriavzevii to be a “opportunistic pathogen.” Specifically, P. kudriavzevii infects those that are immunodeficient. A pathogenic P. kudriavzevii can lead to mastitis (infection of the breast tissue) in mammals, but this type of disease is most commonly found in dogs and cattle. There are few cases of humans being severely impacted by the presence of P. kudriazvevii; however, there was an outbreak of sepsis due to P. kudriazvevii in a neonatal intensive care unit in 2017.