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Candida tropicalis, Molecular Detection

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

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Candida tropicalis has emerged as one of the most important Candida species. It has been widely considered the second most virulent Candida species, only preceded by C. albicans. Besides, this species has been recognized as a very strong biofilm producer, surpassing C. albicans in most of the studies. In addition, it produces a wide range of other virulence factors, including adhesion to buccal epithelial and endothelial cells; the secretion of lytic enzymes, such as proteinases, phospholipases, and hemolysins, bud-to-hyphae transition (also called morphogenesis) and the phenomenon called phenotypic switching. This is a species very closely related to C. albicans and has been easily identified with both phenotypic and molecular methods. C. tropicalis is a clinically relevant species and maybe the second or third etiological agent of candidemia, specifically in Latin American countries and Asia. Antifungal resistance to the azoles, polyenes, and echinocandins has already been described. Apart from all these characteristics, C. tropicalis has been considered an osmotolerant microorganism and this ability to survive in high salt concentrations may be important for fungal persistence in saline environments.

C. tropicalis belongs to the normal human microbiota and is present on the skin, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and respiratory tracts of humans. This yeast has been associated with superficial and systemic infections all over the world, specifically in neutropenic patients, or in individuals with a reduction of the microbiota by antimicrobial use or presenting damage in gastrointestinal mucosa.

C. tropicalis is one of the few Candida species besides C. albicans that is able to produce true hyphae. The overgrowth of yeast can invade the skin, mucous membranes, and internal organs, manifesting as acute, subacute, or chronic inflammation, mostly secondary infection.

The traditional fungal culture method is the gold standard for the diagnosis of fungal infectious diseases and can detect C. tropicalis infection from various specimens, such as sputum, urine, stool, blood, various secretions, and chest and abdominal fluid. However, molecular testing for Candida tropicalis is used immediate, with high specificity and sensitivity laboratory diagnosis in various biological materials.

Candida tropicalis characteristics

  • Has a high activity in biofilm formation
  • The causative agent of catheter-associated candidemia and candidal osteomyelitis
  • Associated with the development of chronic candidiasis of the oral mucosa and gastrointestinal tract with necrotic changes (the highest risk in immunocompromised individuals, especially in patients with hematological diseases)
  • May cause candidemia in newborns in the ICU
  • The causative agent of invasive candidiasis in patients with neutropenia (acute leukemia, bone marrow transplantation)
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