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Keywords:

  • Antifungal susceptibility;
  • Candida;
  • HIV;
  • oral carriage

Summary

The objectives of the present study were: (i) to assess the frequency of oral colonisation by Candida species in HIV-positive patients and to compare it with a population of HIV-negative individuals, (ii) to determine the prevalence of C. dubliniensis in both populations and (iii) to determine the susceptibility of C. dubliniensis and other Candida species isolated from HIV-positive patients to the most commonly used antifungal agents. Oral samples were obtained from 101 HIV-positive and 108 HIV-negative subjects. For yeast identification, we used morphology in cornmeal agar, the API 20C Aux, growth at 45 °C, d-xylose assimilation, morphology in sunflower seed agar and PCR. The frequency of isolation of Candida in HIV-positive patients was: C. albicans, 60.7%; C. dubliniensis, 20.2%; C. glabrata, 5.6%; C. krusei, 5.6%; C. tropicalis, 4.5%; others, <5%. The frequency of isolation of Candida in HIV-negative patients was: C. albicans, 73.9%; C. tropicalis, 15.5%; C. dubliniensis, 2.1%; C. glabrata, 2.1%; C. parapsilosis, 2.1%; others, <5%. The oral colonisation by yeast in the HIV-positive patients was higher than that in the HIV-negative subjects. The susceptibilities of 42 Candida isolates to three antifungal agents were determined. All isolates of C. dubliniensis were susceptible to fluconazole, although several individuals had been previously treated with this drug. Out of the 42 Candida isolates, 10 presented resistance to fluconazole and 10 to itraconazole. The presence of Candida species, resistant to commonly used antifungal agents, represents a potential risk in immunocompromised patients.