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Candida parapsilosis, Molecular Detection

The molecular detection for Candida parapsilosis is used for the immediate, with high specificity and sensitivity laboratory diagnosis of the fungus (yeast) in various biological materials. Molecular testing for Candida parapsilosis is included in the 14 different species of Yeast-like Fungi, Molecular Detection MycoScreen™.

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Over the past decade, the incidence of Candida parapsilosis has dramatically increased. In fact, reports indicate that C. parapsilosis is often the second most commonly isolated Candida species from blood cultures, and C. parapsilosis even outranks Candida albicans in some European, Asian, and South American hospitals.

Although initially considered nonpathogenic, C. parapsilosis was identified as the causative agent of a fatal case of endocarditis in an intravenous drug user in 1940. Even at this early point, investigators associated infection with exogenous introduction of C. parapsilosis.

C. parapsilosis cells display oval, round, or cylindrical shapes. Unlike C. albicans and C. tropicalis, which can exist in multiple morphogenetic forms, C. parapsilosis does not form true hyphae and exists in either a yeast phase or a pseudohyphal form.

C. parapsilosis is typically a commensal of human skin, and its pathogenicity is limited by intact integument. C. parapsilosis is notorious for its capacity to grow in total parenteral nutrition and to form biofilms on catheters and other implanted devices, for nosocomial spread by hand carriage, and for persistence in the hospital environment. C. parapsilosis is of special concern in critically ill neonates, causing more than one-quarter of all invasive fungal infections in low-birth-weight infants and up to one-third of neonatal Candida bloodstream infections. Additionally, it is the predominant fungal organism isolated in many neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), where it is often associated with neonatal mortality.

Since the 1980s, there has been a marked increase in bloodstream infections due to non-C. albicans Candida species, especially C. glabrata in the United States and C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis in Europe, Canada, and Latin America. Although C. parapsilosis is often considered less virulent than C. albicans, it is the Candida species with the largest increase in incidence since 1990.

Candida parapsilosis characteristics

  • A common cause of candidemia in ICU neonates and children
  • Associated with the development of candidemia in ICU patients after neurosurgical operations, patients with multiple injuries and infants
  • The causative agent of catheter-associated candidemia and candidemia in patients on parenteral nutrition
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