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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e32278. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032278. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Antifungal susceptibility profiles of 1698 yeast reference strains revealing potential emerging human pathogens.

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Institut Pasteur, Unité de Mycologie Moléculaire, Centre National de Référence Mycologie et Antifongiques, Paris, France.


New molecular identification techniques and the increased number of patients with various immune defects or underlying conditions lead to the emergence and/or the description of novel species of human and animal fungal opportunistic pathogens. Antifungal susceptibility provides important information for ecological, epidemiological and therapeutic issues. The aim of this study was to assess the potential risk of the various species based on their antifungal drug resistance, keeping in mind the methodological limitations. Antifungal susceptibility profiles to the five classes of antifungal drugs (polyens, azoles, echinocandins, allylamines and antimetabolites) were determined for 1698 yeast reference strains belonging to 992 species (634 Ascomycetes and 358 Basidiomycetes). Interestingly, geometric mean minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of all antifungal drugs tested were significantly higher for Basidiomycetes compared to Ascomycetes (p<0.001). Twenty four strains belonging to 23 species of which 19 were Basidiomycetes seem to be intrinsically "resistant" to all drugs. Comparison of the antifungal susceptibility profiles of the 4240 clinical isolates and the 315 reference strains belonging to 53 shared species showed similar results. Even in the absence of demonstrated in vitro/in vivo correlation, knowing the in vitro susceptibility to systemic antifungal agents and the putative intrinsic resistance of yeast species present in the environment is important because they could become opportunistic pathogens.

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