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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2002 Apr;17(2):79-84.

Oral yeast carriage in patients with advanced cancer.

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Department of Palliative Medicine, Bristol Oncology Centre, Bristol, UK.


The aim of this study was to investigate oral yeast carriage amongst patients with advanced cancer. Oral rinse samples were obtained from 120 subjects. Yeasts were isolated using Sabouraud's dextrose agar and CHROMagar Candida, and were identified using a combination of the API 20 C AUX yeast identification system, species-specific PCR and 26S rDNA gene sequencing. Oral yeast carriage was present in 66% of subjects. The frequency of isolation of individual species was: Candida albicans, 46%; Candida glabrata, 18%; Candida dubliniensis, 5%; others, < 5%. The increasing isolation of non-Candida albicans species is clinically important, since these species are often more resistant to antifungal drugs. Oral yeast carriage was associated with denture wearing (P = 0.006), and low stimulated whole salivary flow rate (P = 0.009). Identification of these risk factors offers new strategies for the prevention of oral candidosis in this group of patients.

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