Investigation of possible virulence factors in Candida strains isolated from blood cultures
Background: The Candida species, which are one of the most common causes of nosocomial bloodstream infections, present with high mortality and morbidity rates. This study aims to investigate the production of esterase, phospholipase, proteinase, and biofilm formation ability of the Candida strains isolated from the blood cultures.
Materials and Methods: Between June 2011 and July 2012, the Candida strains, which were isolated from blood cultures of a total of 50 patients, were studied. The esterase activity was analyzed in the Tween.80 agar, while phospholipase activity was studied in the egg yolk agar. The proteinase activity and biofilm formation were identified by using the petri
dish method and microplate method, respectively.
Results: Of 50 specimens obtained from individual patients, 17 (34%) were identified as C. albicans, 14 (28%) as C. glabrata, 9 (18%) as C. parapsilosis, 5 (10%) as C. krusei, 4 (8%) as C. kefyr, and 1 (2%) as C. tropicalis. The rate of proteinase, phospholipase, and esterase positivity was higher in the C. albicans isolates. Biofilm formation was the highest in the C. parapsilosis strains.
Conclusions: Higher rate of virulence factors in the most commonly isolated Candida species than other species indicates that these virulence factors play a crucial role in the pathogenesis.
Key words: Biofilm, blood culture, candidemia, esterase, phospholipase, proteinase