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Med Mycol. 1998 Dec;36(6):373-8.

The relationship between the cell length, adhesion to acrylic and relative cell surface hydrophobicity of Candida parapsilosis.

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  • 1Oral Bio-science Laboratories, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Candida parapsilosis is an emerging opportunistic pathogen which causes systemic and superficial infections in immunocompromised hosts. Successful colonization and subsequent infection of the host by a microorganism depends upon its ability to adhere to host surfaces, and its relative cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) is a contributory physical force involved in the process. During a comprehensive study of a battery of C. parapsilosis isolates, we noted wide variations in their cell size. Hence we examined the relationship between the cell length, in vitro adhesion to acrylic surfaces and relative CSH of 24 isolates of C. parapsilosis from superficial and systemic sources. A strong positive correlation was observed between the cell length and adhesion of Candida to acrylic surfaces (r=0.56; P=0.004) as well as the cell length and the relative CSH, as measured by a hydrocarbon assay method (r=0.72, P=0.0001). Further, the cell length of both the superficial and systemic isolates correlated well with their CSH (r=0.63, P=0.01; r=0.63, P=0.03 for superficial and systemic isolates, respectively). These data provide a tantalizing glimpse of the structural and functional dynamics of the candidal cell surface.

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