Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32368104
Link to DOI – 10.2147/IDR.S238002
Infect Drug Resist 2020 ; 13(): 1133-1145
Species of genus Candida are part of the common microbiota of humans; however, some of the Candida species are known opportunistic pathogens. Formation of biofilms, resistance to antifungal drugs, and increase in asymptomatic infections demands more studies on isolation, identification and characterization of Candida from clinical samples.The present manuscript deals with assessment of authentic yeast identification by three methods viz., DNA sequencing of 28S rRNA gene, protein profiles using MALDI-TOF MS, and colony coloration on chromogenic media. Antifungal susceptibility and in vitro cell invasion assays were performed to further characterize these isolates.Comparison of three methods showed that DNA sequence analysis correctly identified more than 99.4% of the isolates up to species level as compared to 89% by MALDI-TOF MS. In this study, we isolated a total of 176 yeasts from clinical samples and preliminary morphological characters indicated that these yeast isolates belong to the genus Candida. The species distribution of isolates was as follows: 75 isolates of Candida albicans (42.61%), 50 of C. tropicalis (28.40%), 22 of C. glabrata (12.5%), 14 of C. parapsilosis (7.95%) and 4 of Clavispora lusitaniae (2.27%). Other species like Cyberlindnera fabianii, Issatchenkia orientalis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Kodamaea ohmeri, Lodderomyces sp., and Trichosporon asahii were less than 2%. Antifungal susceptibility assay performed with 157 isolates showed that most of the isolates were resistant to the four azoles viz., clotrimazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, and ketoconazole, and the frequency of resistance was more in non-albicans Candida isolates. The susceptibility to azole drugs ranged from 7% to 48%, while 75% of the tested yeasts were susceptible to nystatin. Moreover, 88 isolates were also tested for their capacity to invade human cells using HeLa cells. In vitro invasion assay showed that most of the C. albicans isolates showed epithelial cell invasion as compared to isolates belonging to C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis.The identification of yeasts of clinical origin by sequencing of 28S rRNA gene performed better than MALDI-TOF MS. The present study reiterates the world scenario wherein there is a shift from Candida strains to emerging opportunistic pathogens which were earlier regarded as environmental strains. The present study enlightens the current understanding of identification methods for clinical yeast isolates, increased antifungal drug resistance, epithelial cell invasion as a virulence factor, and diversity of yeasts in Indian clinical samples.