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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-31

Detection of virulence factors and phenotypic characterization of Candida isolates from clinical specimens

1 Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, CMC, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 ICMR-DHR-VDRL, Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Pondicherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Sheela Devi Chandrakesan
Department of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Context: Infections associated with different Candida species have increased over the last decade especially with nonalbicans Candida. Species identification and antifungal susceptibility are vital for treatment and management of Candida infections. Virulence factors, including biofilm formation (BF) and secretion of hydrolytic enzymes have been demonstrated in Candida albicans and few other nonalbicans Candida. Aim: The aim of this study was to speciate and detect virulence factors of different Candida species isolated from a clinical specimen. Methods: All clinically significant Candida species isolated during the study period from various clinical samples were speciated by standard phenotypic methods and using the chromogenic medium. BF, Phospholipase and protease activities were determined by tissue culture plate method, precipitation, and bovine serum albumin agar medium respectively. Results: C. albicans was the most common species isolated followed by Candida tropicalis and Candida krusei. Chromogenic medium (CHROM agar Candida) was found to be 92% specific for identification of Candida species. BF was observed more in urine isolates of C. tropicalis followed by C. krusei. Phospholipase activity was seen only in C. albicans, whereas protease activity was observed in all four species of Candida but most commonly in C. tropicalis. Conclusion: Rapid identification and speciation of Candida species is essential in guiding appropriate anti-fungal therapy. CHROM agar Candida is a simple and rapid test for speciation of Candida; however, when used along with other phenotypic methods they give more reliable results. Detection of virulence factors in Candida species might indicate invasiveness.

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