Candida auris grown on CHROMagar chromogenic medium
Candida auris is an emerging fungal pathogen first isolated from the ear of a patient from Japan in 2009. It has subsequently been isolated from several sites of infection including the bloodstream and from skin wounds world-wide, and is of concern due to its multi-drug resistant nature and high mortality rate. In addition, C.auris has been shown to have the ability to readily transfer between hospital patients setting it apart from the majority of Candida species.
A recent study by the UK National Mycology Reference Laboratory (MRL) investigated the pathogenicity of strains of C.auris compared with other Candida species isolated in the UK. Using the invertebrate Galleria mellonella infection model, MRL demonstrated that strains of C.auris isolates differ in their growth characteristics in vivo, some forming large aggregates of cells rather than budding and releasing daughter cells.
Pathogenicity was compared with isolates of 11 other species of Candida (C.albicans, C.tropicalis, C.parapsilosis, C.orthopsilosis, C.lustaniae, C.guilliermondii, C.glabrata, C.krusei, C.ivariensis, C.bracarensis and C.kefyr) and with S.cerevisae. Interestingly, the non-aggregating isolates of C.auris showed an equivalent pathogenicity to C.ablicans, which is generally thought of as the most pathogenic Candida species.
Kaplan-Meier survival curves of G. mellonella infected with C. albicans and C. auris
The study concludes that further work is required to understand the effect of aggregating and non-aggregating forms of C.auris in human infection, the role, if any, that aggregation plays in transfer of the fungi between patients, and resistance to antifungal agents and detergents.
NCPF has a wide selection of Candida species available for use in research.
Borman, A., Szekely, A., & Johnson, E. (2016). Comparative Pathogenicity of United Kingdom Isolates of the Emerging Pathogen Candida auris and Other Key Pathogenic Candida Species. MSphere, 1(4), MSphere, 2016, Vol.1(4)
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