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Candida palmioleophila: characterization of a previously overlooked pathogen and its unique susceptibility profile in comparison with five related species.

Journal of clinical microbiology (2010-12-15)
Rasmus H Jensen, Maiken C Arendrup
ABSTRACT

Candida palmioleophila has previously been misidentified as C. famata or C. guilliermondii. We have investigated traditional and modern identification methods for the identification of this and related species. Forty-one clinical isolates previously identified as C. famata or C. guilliermondii and 8 reference strains were included. Color development on CHROMagar, growth temperature ranges, micromorphologies, carbon assimilation (ID32C), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) profiles, and susceptibility profiles (mica- and anidulafungin and itra-, vori-, posa-, and fluconazole MICs were determined by EUCAST method EDef 7.1, and caspofungin MICs were determined by Etest) were determined, and results were compared to those of molecular identification (ITS1 and ITS2 sequencing). The following five different species were identified among the clinical isolates by sequencing, but no C. famata isolates were found: C. guilliermondii (22 isolates), C. palmioleophila (8 isolates), C. fermentati (6 isolates), C. lusitaniae (3 isolates), and C. intermedia (2 isolates). C. palmioleophila developed a distinct scintillating color of turquoise to rose, grew at 40°C, and failed to produce pseudohyphae within 14 days. The ID32C profile for 7/9 C. palmioleophila isolates was 5367352315, and all were unable to hydrolyze esculin (Esc). The six related species were well discriminated by MALDI-TOF MS. The susceptibility pattern for C. palmioleophila was unique, as the echinocandin MICs were low (range, 0.008 to 0.125 μg/ml) and fluconazole MICs were high (range, 8 to >16 μg/ml). Correct identification of C. palmioleophila is important due to its unique susceptibility profile. Identification is possible yet laborious with conventional techniques, whereas MALDI-TOF MS easily separated the related species.

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