Applied and environmental microbiology

New chromogenic agar medium for the identification of Candida spp.

PMID 12089051


A new chromogenic agar medium (Candida diagnostic agar [CDA]) for differentiation of Candida spp. is described. This medium is based on Sabouraud dextrose agar (Oxoid CM41) and contains (per liter) 40.0 g of glucose, 10.0 g of mycological peptone, and 15.0 g of agar along with a novel chromogenic glucosaminidase substrate, ammonium 4-(2-[4-(2-acetamido-2-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-3-methoxyphenyl]-vinyl)-1-(propan-3-yl-oate)-quinolium bromide (0.32 g liter(-1)). The glucosaminidase substrate in CDA was hydrolyzed by Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis, yielding white colonies with deep-red spots on a yellow transparent background after 24 to 48 h of incubation at 37 degrees C. Colonies of Candida tropicalis and Candida kefyr were uniformly pink, and colonies of other Candida spp., including Candida glabrata and Candida parapsilosis, were white. CDA was evaluated by using 115 test strains of Candida spp. and other clinically important yeasts and was compared with two commercially available chromogenic agars (Candida ID agar [bioMerieux] and CHROMagar Candida [CHROMagar Company Ltd.]). On all three agars, colonies of C. albicans were not distinguished from colonies of C. dubliniensis. However, for the group containing C. albicans plus C. dubliniensis, both the sensitivity and the specificity of detection when CDA was used were 100%, compared with values of 97.6 and 100%, respectively, with CHROMagar Candida and 100 and 96.8%, respectively, with Candida ID agar. In addition, for the group containing C. tropicalis plus C. kefyr, the sensitivity and specificity of detection when CDA was used were also 100%, compared with 72.7 and 98.1%, respectively, with CHROMagar Candida. Candida ID agar did not differentiate C. tropicalis and C. kefyr strains but did differentiate members of a broader group (C. tropicalis, C. kefyr, Candida lusitaniae plus Candida guilliermondii); the sensitivity and specificity of detection for members of this group were 94.7 and 93.8%, respectively. In addition to the increased sensitivity and/or specificity of Candida detection when CDA was used, differentiation of colony types on CDA (red spotted, pink, or no color) was unambiguous and did not require precise assessment of colony color.

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D-Glucosaminic acid, ≥98%