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Distribution of Pathogenic Yeasts in Different Clinical Samples: Their Identification, Antifungal Susceptibility Pattern, and Cell Invasion Assays

Authors Pote ST, Sonawane MS, Rahi P, Shah SR, Shouche YS, Patole MS, Thakar MR, Sharma R

Received 9 November 2019

Accepted for publication 25 February 2020

Published 20 April 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1133—1145


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Satish T Pote,1,2 Mahesh S Sonawane,1 Praveen Rahi,1 Sunil R Shah,3 Yogesh S Shouche,1 Milind S Patole,1 Madhuri R Thakar,2 Rohit Sharma1

1National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR), National Centre for Cell Science, NCCS Complex, S.P. Pune University, Pune 411 007, Maharashtra, India; 2National AIDS Research Institute, Pune 411026, Maharashtra, India; 3Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune 411043, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence: Rohit Sharma
National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR), National Centre for Cell Science, NCCS Complex, S.P. Pune University, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 007, Maharashtra, India
Tel +91-20-25329035
Fax +91-20-25692259

Introduction: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Discussion: 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.

Keywords: yeast clinical isolates, chromogenic media, DNA sequencing, MALDI-TOF MS, antifungal drug resistance

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