Phenotypic and Genotypic Identification of Candida Strains Isolated as Nosocomial Pathogens

Sahiner F., ERGÜNAY K. , Ozyurt M., Ardic N., Hosbul T., Haznedaroglu T.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.45, no.3, pp.478-488, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Title of Journal : MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI
  • Page Numbers: pp.478-488


Over the last decade, there have been important changes in the epidemiology of Candida infections and antifungal agents used to treat these infections. In recent years, Candida species have emerged as important causes of invasive infections among patients in intensive care units. One of the main goals of this study was to evaluate the molecular epidemiology of infectious Candida species isolated in our hospital and accordingly supply data for hospital infection (HI) control. The other aim of this study was to evaluate effectiveness and practical applicability of traditional and molecular methods used to identify Candida isolates to the species level. A total of 77 Candida strains that were isolated from various clinical specimens of 60 hospitalized patients (29 male, 24 female; 7 were children) were included in the study. Fifty-seven (74%) of those isolates were defined as HI agents according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria. The most common Candida species identified as agents of HI were C.albicans (22; 38.6%), followed by C.tropicalis (14; 24.6%), C.parapsilosis (13; 22.8%), C.glabrata (7; 12.3%) and Candida spp. (1; 1.75%). It was determined that bloodstream (26; 45.6%) and urinary tract infections (24; 42.1%) were the most frequently encountered nosocomial infections caused by Candida species. In addition it was detected that the most frequent causative agent of bloodstream infections was C.parapsilosis (10; 38.5%) and of urinary tract infections was C.albicans (12; 50%). The evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of traditional phenotypic methods [germ tube formation, chlamydospore formation in corn meal agar, growth at 45 degrees C, colony characteristics on CHROMagar Candida medium, carbohydrate assimilation properties detected by API ID 32C (BioMerieux, France) system] and some molecular techniques [polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by using ITS-1, ITS-3 and ITS-4 primers, PCR-Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), PCR-RFLP in which ITS1-ITS4 products cut by Msp I ve Bin I restriction enzymes] for the identification of Candida species revealed that CHROMagar Candida medium combined with API ID 32C kit yielded the same results (100% compatible) as molecular techniques for the species identification of Candida isolates. Since these phenotypic methods were simple and cost effective when compared to molecular techniques, they should be considered in the identification of Candida species.