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DNA Cell Biol. 2012 Jul;31(7):1161-6. doi: 10.1089/dna.2011.1593. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Temporal similarity between Candida albicans genotypes in a Tunisian neonatal intensive care unit suggests several nosocomial cross-contamination episodes.

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Unité de Recherche UR 02SP13, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Ministère de la Santé Publique, Sousse, Tunisie.


The nosocomial transmission of Candida albicans in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is an increasing concern and understanding the route of this transmission is critical for adequate infection control measures. The aim of our study was to assess the likeliness of nosocomial acquisition of C. albicans in the NICU of Farhat Hached hospital in Sousse (Tunisia). We genotyped 82 isolates from 40 neonates and 7 isolates from 5 health care workers (HCWs) with onychomycosis, by using CDC3 microsatellite length polymorphism (MLP) and the high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis. Combined MLP and HRM CD3 analysis led to the delineation of 12 genotypes. Five temporal clustering caused by five genotypes occurred during the study period. Three of these genotypes were isolated in both neonates and HCWs. The first clustering included 28 isolates obtained between January 2003 and May 2004 from 16 neonates and 2 HCWs. The second clustering included three isolates collected in 2004 from three neonates and two HCWs. The third clustering included 11 isolates obtained from 6 neonates and 1 HCW in 2006. The two remaining clustering could not be associated with any HCW's contamination. These results argue for the nosocomial transmission of C. albicans in our NICU. The combined MLP and HRM analysis is a rapid first approach for tracking cross-contamination.

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