Author(s): Ziccardi M, Souza LO, Gandra RM, Galdino AC, Baptista AR,
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Abstract Candida parapsilosis (sensu lato), which represents a fungal complex composed of three genetically related species - Candida parapsilosis sensu stricto, Candida orthopsilosis and Candida metapsilosis, has emerged as an important yeast causing fungemia worldwide. The goal of the present work was to assess the prevalence, antifungal susceptibility and production of virulence traits in 53 clinical isolates previously identified as C. parapsilosis (sensu lato) obtained from hospitals located in the Southeast of Brazil. Species forming this fungal complex are physiologically/morphologically indistinguishable; however, polymerase chain reaction followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism of FKS1 gene has solved the identification inaccuracy, revealing that 43 (81.1\%) isolates were identified as C. parapsilosis sensu stricto and 10 (18.9\%) as C. orthopsilosis. No C. metapsilosis was found. The geographic distribution of these Candida species was uniform among the studied Brazilian States (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo). All C. orthopsilosis and almost all C. parapsilosis sensu stricto (95.3\%) isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole and caspofungin. Nevertheless, one C. parapsilosis sensu stricto isolate was resistant to fluconazole and another one was resistant to caspofungin. C. parapsilosis sensu stricto isolates exhibited higher MIC mean values to amphotericin B, fluconazole and caspofungin than those of C. orthopsilosis, while C. orthopsilosis isolates displayed higher MIC mean to itraconazole compared to C. parapsilosis sensu stricto. Identical MIC mean values to voriconazole were measured for these Candida species. All the isolates of both species were able to form biofilm on polystyrene surface. Impressively, biofilm-growing cells of C. parapsilosis sensu stricto and C. orthopsilosis exhibited a considerable resistance to all antifungal agents tested. Pseudohyphae were observed in 67.4\% and 80\% of C. parapsilosis sensu stricto and C. orthopsilosis isolates, respectively. The secretion of phytase (93\% versus 100\%), aspartic protease (88.4\% versus 90\%), esterase (20.9\% versus 50\%) and hemolytic factors (25.6\% versus 40\%) was detected in C. parapsilosis sensu stricto and C. orthopsilosis isolates, respectively; however, no phospholipase activity was identified. An interesting fact was observed concerning the caseinolytic activity, for which all the producers (53.5\%) belonged to C. parapsilosis sensu stricto. Collectively, our results add new data on the epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility and production of potential virulence attributes in clinical isolates of C. parapsilosis complex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Int J Med Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents