Candida auris is a newly described species whose clinical significance is not clear. Here, we describe the first three cases of nosocomial fungemia caused by C. auris, which confirms that it is a causative agent of bloodstream infections. All three patients presented persistent fungemia for 10 to 31 days. The isolates obtained from the three patients were misidentified as Candida haemulonii and Rhodotorula glutinis by the Vitek 2 and the API 20C systems, respectively. C. auris was confirmed by sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region and D1/D2 regions of the 26S ribosomal DNA of the rRNA gene. The MIC ranges of amphotericin B (AMB), fluconazole (FLU), itraconazole, and voriconazole were 0.5 to 1, 2 to 128, 0.125 to 2, and 0.06 to 1 g/ml, respectively. All isolates were susceptible to caspofungin (MIC ؍ 0.06 g/ml) and micafungin (MIC ؍ 0.03 g/ml). One patient developed breakthrough fungemia while receiving FLU therapy, and two patients who received FLU therapy followed by AMB showed therapeutic failure and fatal outcomes. Our cases show that C. auris fungemia can be persistent, despite FLU or AMB therapy, which emphasizes the importance of accurately identifying this species.
Biofilm production has been implicated as a potential virulence factor of some Candida species responsible for catheter-related fungemia in patients receiving parenteral nutrition. We therefore compared clinical bloodstream isolates representing seven different Candida species to each other and to those from other anatomical sites for the capacity to form biofilms in glucose-containing medium. Potential associations between the capacity to form biofilms and the clinical characteristics of fungemia were also analyzed. Isolates included the following from nonneutropenic patients: 101 bloodstream isolates (35 C. parapsilosis, 30 C. albicans, 18 C. tropicalis, 8 C. glabrata, and 10 other Candida species isolates) and 259 clinical isolates from other body sites (116 C. albicans, 53 C. glabrata, 43 C. tropicalis, 17 C. parapsilosis, and 30 other Candida species isolates). Organisms were grown in Sabouraud dextrose broth (SDB) containing a final concentration of 8% glucose to induce biofilm formation, as published previously. Biofilm production was determined by both visual and spectrophotometric methods. In this medium, biofilm production by C. albicans isolates was significantly less frequent (8%) than that by non-C. albicans Candida species (61%; P < 0.0001). The overall proportion of non-C. albicans Candida species isolates from the blood that produced biofilms was significantly higher than that of non-C. albicans Candida isolates obtained from other sites (79% versus 52%; P ؍ 0.0001). Bloodstream isolates of C. parapsilosis alone were significantly more likely to be biofilm positive than were C. parapsilosis isolates from other sites (86% versus 47%; P ؍ 0.0032). Non-C. albicans Candida species, including C. parapsilosis, were more likely to be biofilm positive if isolates were derived from patients whose candidemia was central venous catheter (CVC) related (95%; P < 0.0001) and was associated with the use of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) (94%; P < 0.005). These data suggest that the capacity of Candida species isolates to produce biofilms in vitro in glucose-containing SDB may be a reflection of the pathogenic potential of these isolates to cause CVC-related fungemia in patients receiving TPN.
Background. Candida haemulonii, a yeast species that often exhibits antifungal resistance, rarely causes human infection. During 2004-2006, unusual yeast isolates with phenotypic similarity to C. haemulonii were recovered from 23 patients (8 patients with fungemia and 15 patients with chronic otitis media) in 5 hospitals in Korea. Methods. Isolates were characterized using D1/D2 domain and ITS gene sequencing, and the susceptibility of the isolates to 6 antifungal agents was tested in vitro. Results. Gene sequencing of the blood isolates confirmed C. haemulonii group I (in 1 patient) and Candida pseudohaemulonii (in 7 patients), whereas all isolates recovered from the ear were a novel species of which C. haemulonii is its closest relative. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranges of amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole for all isolates were 0.5-32 microg/mL (MIC(50), 1 microg/mL), 2-128 microg/mL (MIC(50), 4 microg/mL), 0.125-4 microg/mL (MIC(50), 0.25 microg/mL), and 0.03-2 microg/mL (MIC(50), 0.06 microg/mL), respectively. All isolates were susceptible to caspofungin (MIC, 0.125-0.25 microg/mL) and micafungin (MIC, 0.03-0.06 microg/mL). All cases of fungemia occurred in patients with severe underlying diseases who had central venous catheters. Three patients developed breakthrough fungemia while receiving antifungal therapy, and amphotericin B therapeutic failure, which was associated with a high MIC of amphotericin B (32 microg/mL), was observed in 2 patients. Conclusions. Candida species that are closely related to C. haemulonii are emerging sources of infection in Korea. These species show variable patterns of susceptibility to amphotericin B and azole antifungal agents.
Elucidating population structure and levels of genetic diversity and recombination is necessary to understand the evolution and adaptation of species. Candida albicans is the second most frequent agent of human fungal infections worldwide, causing high-mortality rates. Here we present the genomic sequences of 182 C. albicans isolates collected worldwide, including commensal isolates, as well as ones responsible for superficial and invasive infections, constituting the largest dataset to date for this major fungal pathogen. Although, C. albicans shows a predominantly clonal population structure, we find evidence of gene flow between previously known and newly identified genetic clusters, supporting the occurrence of (para)sexuality in nature. A highly clonal lineage, which experimentally shows reduced fitness, has undergone pseudogenization in genes required for virulence and morphogenesis, which may explain its niche restriction. Candida albicans thus takes advantage of both clonality and gene flow to diversify.
Emergence of Candida haemulonii and closely related species at five Korean hospitals has been recently described. We examined biofilm formation by these isolates and assessed their genotypic relatedness by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). This study is the first to show that all bloodstream isolates of Candida pseudohaemulonii can form significant biofilms in glucose-containing medium. PFGE of NotI-digested genomic DNA revealed that C. pseudohaemulonii isolates recovered from seven patients in two hospitals shared five patterns, and that 15 isolates of a proposed new species (Candida auris) obtained from patients at three hospitals shared seven patterns, suggesting that some of these isolates may be related to clonal transmission.
Bloodstream infections caused by Candida species are of increasing importance and associated with significant mortality. We performed a multi-centre prospective observational study to identify the species and antifungal susceptibilities of invasive bloodstream isolates of Candida species in the Asia-Pacific region. The study was carried out over a two year period, involving 13 centers from Brunei, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Identification of Candida species was performed at each study center, and reconfirmed at a central laboratory. Susceptibility testing was performed using a commercial broth dilution panel (Sensititre YeastOne YST-010, Thermofisher, United Kingdom) with susceptibility categorisation (S = susceptible, S-DD = susceptible dose-dependent) applied using breakpoints from the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute. Eight hundred and sixty-one Candida isolates were included in the study. The most common species were C. albicans (35.9%), C. tropicalis (30.7%), C. parapsilosis (15.7%), and C. glabrata (13.6%). Non-albicans species exceeded C. albicans species in centers from all countries except Taiwan. Fluconazole susceptibility was almost universal for C. albicans (S = 99.7%) but lower for C. tropicalis (S = 75.8%, S-DD = 6.1%), C. glabrata (S-DD = 94.9%), and C. parapsilosis (S = 94.8%). Echinocandins demonstrated high rates of in vitro susceptibility (S>99%) against C. albicans, C. tropicalis, and C. parapsilosis This study demonstrates that non-albicans species are the most common isolates from bloodstream infections in most countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with C. tropicalis as the predominant species. Because of the prevalence of reduced susceptibility to fluconazole in non-albicans species, the study indicates that echinocandins should be the antifungal of choice in clinically unstable or high-risk patients with documented candidemia.
PCR fingerprinting and Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) was applied to determine the major molecular types of the C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex in the Republic of Korea. Of the 78 strains isolated from patients diagnosed with cryptococcosis between 1990 and 2008, 96% were C. neoformans serotype A, mating type MATα, and molecular type VNI. The remaining 4 % were C. gattii, serotype B, mating type MATα, and being either molecular type VGIIb or VGIII. Of the 62 strains with known HIV status, only 14 (22.6 %) were isolated from HIV positive patients and belonged to molecular type VNI. Remarkably, 93% of the C. neoformans isolates had identical PCR fingerprint profiles with the VNIc genotype that has recently been identified as the major genotype among C. neoformans strains in China. Most strains (81.8%) of the VNIc genotype were associated with non-HIV patients comparing to strains of the non-VNIc genotype (20%) (p = 0.009). Unlike the Chinese strains, a majority (60%) of the non-HIV patients infected with strains of the VNIc genotype in the Republic of Korea had serious underlying conditions with cancer and liver disease being the most common. This study affirms VNIc to be the most prevalent genotype of C. neoformans isolated from non-HIV patients with cryptococcosis.
Data on clinical isolates of Kodamaea (Pichia) ohmeri, an emerging fungal pathogen, are scarce. Over the past 5 years, we identified yeast isolates from nine patients with fungemia as K. ohmeri by using the API 20C system. Here, we reanalyzed these isolates first by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) regions and then by growing the isolates on CHROMagar Candida medium and subjecting them to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Based on their ITS2 sequences, six of the nine isolates were confirmed as K. ohmeri, while the others were identified as Candida haemulonii (n ؍ 2) and Candida parapsilosis (n ؍ 1). PFGE karyotyping of the K. ohmeri isolates revealed similar major bands, and their colonies showed a characteristic color change from pink to blue when grown on CHROMagar Candida medium for more than 48 h. For K. ohmeri, the ranges of MICs of fluconazole, voriconazole, caspofungin, and micafungin were 2 to 32 g/ml, 0.03 to 0.5 g/ml, 0.125 to 0.25 g/ml, and 0.03 to 0.06 g/ml, respectively. Restriction endonuclease analysis of genomic NotI-digested DNA (REAG-N) from isolates from different patients produced unique patterns, suggesting that the fungemia had occurred sporadically. This study determined that ITS2 sequence data, PFGE karyotypes, and CHROMagar Candida chromogenic culture medium are reliable diagnostic tools for identifying K. ohmeri while REAG-N is useful for genotyping the clinical isolates of K. ohmeri.
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