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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Mar;73(6):1697-703. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

Biofilm formation by and antifungal susceptibility of Candida isolates from urine.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, Ullmann 1223, 1300 Morris Park Ave., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Biofilm formation (BF) in the setting of candiduria has not been well studied. We determined BF and MIC to antifungals in Candida spp. isolates grown from urine samples of patients and performed a retrospective chart review to examine the correlation with risk factors. A total of 67 Candida spp. isolates were grown from urine samples from 55 patients. The species distribution was C. albicans (54%), C. glabrata (36%), and C. tropicalis (10%). BF varied greatly among individual Candida isolates but was stable in sequential isolates during chronic infection. BF also depended on the growth medium and especially in C. albicans was significantly enhanced in artificial urine (AU) compared to RPMI medium. In nine of the C. albicans strains BF was 4- to 10-fold higher in AU, whereas in three of the C. albicans strains and two of the C. glabrata strains higher BF was measured in RPMI medium than in AU. Determination of the MICs showed that planktonic cells of all strains were susceptible to amphotericin B (AMB) and caspofungin (CASPO) and that three of the C. glabrata strains and two of the C. albicans strains were resistant to fluconazole (FLU). In contrast, all biofilm-associated adherent cells were resistant to CASPO and FLU. The biofilms of 14 strains (28%) were sensitive to AMB (MIC(50) of <1 mug/ml). Correlation between degree of BF and MIC of AMB was not seen in RPMI grown biofilms but was present when grown in AU. A retrospective chart review demonstrated no correlation of known risk factors of candiduria with BF in AU or RPMI. We conclude that BF is a stable characteristic of Candida strains that varies greatly among clinical strains and is dependent on the growth medium. Resistance to AMB is associated with higher BF in AU, which may represent the more physiologic medium to test BF. Future studies should address whether in vitro BF can predict treatment failure in vivo.

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