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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1996 Oct;7(4):241-5.

High incidence of antifungal drug resistance in Candida tropicalis.

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Department of Microbiology, Hope Hospital, Salford, M6 8HD UK.


Drug resistance among yeasts is an increasing problem. Isolates of Candida krusei and Candida glabrata are recognized as having reduced susceptibility to fluconazole and resistance to this drug has also arisen in Candida albicans isolated from AIDS patients on long term azole therapy. Candida tropicalis (CT) is being increasingly isolated from human disease and is associated with invasive infection, however, data regarding this organism's drug susceptibility is limited. We report our findings on 60 isolates of CT isolated from patients with serious infection in the North West of England. Over 60% of isolates were from adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, and almost half were from the respiratory tract. Susceptibility to fluconazole, flucytosine, itraconazole and ketoconazole were tested by standardised methods - 48% of the isolates were resistant to fluconazole (MIC > 12.5 mg/l), and 10% had intermediate susceptibility (MIC 6.25-12.5 mg/l). For flucytosine 17% of isolates were resistant (MIC > 8 mg/l) and 22% had intermediate susceptibility (MIC 2-8 mg/l). Three isolates were resistant to both drugs. For itraconazole 17% of isolates were resistant (MIC > 1 mg/l), and 12% showed intermediate susceptibility (MIC 0.5-1 mg/l). Resistance to ketoconazole was seen in 33% of isolates (MIC > 1 mg/l) and 10% showed intermediate susceptibility (MIC 0.5-1 mg/l). Differences in the degree of cross resistance between the azole drugs was observed. Candida tropicalis should be added to the list of yeasts in which drug resistance is commonly found. Given the high invasiveness of Candida tropicalis, its affinity for patients on ICU and the high incidence of drug resistance in this species, identification and susceptibility tests should be performed on all yeast isolates from patients on ICU.

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