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Abstract

CORRELATION OF PHENOTYPIC AND GENOTYPIC ADHESION AND BIOFILM FORMATION FEATURES IN CANDIDA ALBICANS STRAINS ISOLATED FROM DIFFERENT CLINICAL SPECIMENS

*Omar Sadik, Othman Almahdawy, Dunya A. A. Gurgea, Lia-Mara Ditu, Alina Maria Holban, Gratiela Gradisteanu, I. Gheorghe, Otilia Banu, Mariana Carmen Chifiriuc

ABSTRACT

In the recent years, there have been important changes in the epidemiology of fungal infections, Candida albicans having emerged as an important cause of invasive infections mainly among immunocompromised patients. Considering the increasing prevalence rate of candidiasis worldwide, the aim of the present study was to investigate the possible correlations between the adherence and biofilm development capacity and the adherence genes profiles of 109 C. albicans strains recently isolated from different clinical specimens. The highest adherence capacity was registered for strains isolated from urine and sputum samples, while the most intensive biofilm producers were those isolated from respiratory tract secretions. The most frequent genes encoding for C. albicans adhesins in the studied strains were ALS1 and ALS3 genes, demonstrating their important role in the pathogenicity of the respective clinical isolates. We have found a specific correlation between the ability to colonize the cellular substratum and the presence of ALS1 gene in case of urine isolates, of ALS3 in sputum and tracheal isolates, and of SAP 2 in bronchial and tracheal secretions. Also specific correlations between the biofilm development capacity and the presence of ALS1 in tracheal and of ALS8 in urinary isolates have been revealed. These results demonstrate that the detection of these genes in different clinical isolates could represent and easy and cost-effective tool for the prediction of highly virulent isolated capable of colonizing either the cellular or the inert substratum and to generate clinical infections.

Keywords: Candida albicans; Biofilm; adherence genes.


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