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Molecular Identification of Closely RelatedCandidaSpecies Using Two Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Fingerprinting Methods

Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2010.11.014
  • Cme
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Recent changes in the epidemiology of candidiasis highlighted an increase in non- Candida albicans species emphasizing the need for reliable identification methods. Molecular diagnostics in fungal infections may improve species characterization, particularly in cases of the closely related species in the Candida complexes. We developed two PCR/restriction fragment length polymorphism assays, targeting either a part of the intergenic spacer 2 or the entire intergenic spacer (IGS) of ribosomal DNA using a panel of 270 isolates. A part of the intergenic spacer was used for discrimination between C. albicans and C. dubliniensis and between species of the C. glabrata complex ( C. glabrata/C. bracarensis/C. nivariensis). The whole IGS was applied to C. parapsilosis, C. metapsilosis, and C. orthopsilosis, and to separate C. famata (Debaryomyces hansenii) from C. guilliermondii ( Pichia guilliermondii) and from the other species within this complex (ie, C. carpophila, C. fermentati and C. xestobii). Sharing similar biochemical patterns, Pichia norvegensis and C. inconspicua exhibited specific IGS profiles. Our study confirmed that isolates of C. guilliermondii were frequently mis-identified as C. famata. As much as 67% of the clinical isolates phenotypically determined as C. famata were recognized mostly as true P. guilliermondii. Conversely, 44% of the isolates initially identified as C. guilliermondii were corrected by the IGS fingerprints as C. parapsilosis, C. fermentati, or C. zeylanoides. These two PCR/restriction fragment length polymorphism methods may be used as reference tools [either alternatively or adjunctively to the existing ribosomal DNA (26S or ITS) sequence comparisons] for unambiguous determination of the Candida species for which phenotypic characterization remains problematic.

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