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J Clin Microbiol. 1995 May;33(5):1223-30.

Evidence for nosocomial transmission of Candida albicans obtained by Ca3 fingerprinting.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Genetics, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


The moderately repetitive sequence Ca3 was used to fingerprint Candida albicans isolates from 32 patients hospitalized for more than 3 days, 17 recent admissions or outpatients, and 8 recently readmitted patients and 10 commensal isolates from the community in Wellington, New Zealand, plus isolates from 21 hospitalized patients, 26 outpatients or recent admissions, 4 recently readmitted patients, and 10 healthy individuals in the community in Auckland, New Zealand. In Wellington, isolates from patients hospitalized in Wellington Hospital for more than 3 days were genetically significantly less diverse than were isolates from outpatients or recent admissions or isolates from healthy individuals in the community. In addition, two clusters of genetically similar strains were isolated from hospitalized patients significantly more often than from other individuals. These observations provide evidence (albeit indirectly) for nosocomial transmission of hospital-specific C. albicans strains. In contrast, no indication of hospital-specific transmission of C. albicans was found in Auckland Hospital. Since these results were obtained under conditions in which no candidiasis outbreak occurred in either hospital, they also suggest that Ca3 fingerprinting may be a useful tool in preventive nosocomial infection control programs, allowing assessment of the extent of C. albicans transmission occurring in a hospital.

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