Characterization of a New Clinical Yeast Species, Candida tunisiensis sp. nov., Isolated from a Strain Collection from Tunisian Hospitals.

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Characterization of a New Clinical Yeast Species, Candida tunisiensis sp. nov., Isolated from a Strain Collection from Tunisian Hospitals.

J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Jan;51(1):31-9

Authors: Eddouzi J, Hofstetter V, Groenewald M, Manai M, Sanglard D

Abstract
From a collection of yeast isolates isolated from patients in Tunisian hospitals between September 2006 and July 2010, the yeast strain JEY63 (CBS 12513), isolated from a 50-year-old male that suffered from oral thrush, could not be identified to the species level using conventional methods used in clinical laboratories. These methods include matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), germ tube formation, and the use of CHROMagar Candida and metabolic galleries. Sequence analysis of the nuclear rRNA (18S rRNA, 5.8S rRNA, and 26S rRNA) and internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1 and ITS2) indicated that the ribosomal DNA sequences of this species were not yet reported. Multiple gene phylogenic analyses suggested that this isolate clustered at the base of the Dipodascaceae (Saccharomycetales, Saccharomycetes, and Ascomycota). JEY63 was named Candida tunisiensis sp. nov. according to several phenotypic criteria and its geographical origin. C. tunisiensis was able to grow at 42°C and does not form chlamydospores and hyphae but could grow as yeast and pseudohyphal forms. C. tunisiensis exhibited most probably a haploid genome with an estimated size of 10 Mb on at least three chromosomes. Using European Committee for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) and Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Candida albicans susceptibility breakpoints as a reference, C. tunisiensis was resistant to fluconazole (MIC = 8 μg/ml), voriconazole (MIC = 0.5 μg/ml), itraconazole (MIC = 16 μg/ml), and amphotericin B (MIC = 4 μg/ml) but still susceptible to posaconazole (MIC = 0.008 μg/ml) and caspofungin (MIC = 0.5 μg/ml). In conclusion, MALDI-TOF MS permitted the early selection of an unusual isolate, which was still unreported in molecular databases but could not be unambiguously classified based on phylogenetic approaches.

PMID: 23077122 [PubMed - in process]