Molecular methods for strain typing of Candida albicans: a review



Jihene Ben Abdeljelil, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Hôpital Farhat Hached 4000, Sousse, Tunisie. E-mail:


Candida albicans is one of the most medically important fungi because of its high frequency as a commensal and pathogenic microorganism causing superficial as well as invasive infections. Strain typing and delineation of the species are essential for understanding its biology, epidemiology and population structure. A wide range of molecular techniques have been used for this purpose including non-DNA-based methods (multi-locus enzyme electrophoresis), conventional DNA-based methods (electrophoretic karyotyping, random amplified polymorphic DNA, amplified fragment length polymorphism, restriction enzyme analysis with and without hybridization, rep-PCR) and DNA-based methods called exact typing methods because they generate unambiguous and highly reproducible typing data (including microsatellite length polymorphism and multi-locus sequence typing). In this review, the main molecular methods used for C. albicans strain typing are summarized, and their advantages and limitations are discussed with regard to their discriminatory power, reproducibility, cost and ease of performance.