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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


BORIOLLO, Marcelo Fabiano Gomes et al. Electrophoretic protein patterns and numerical analysis of Candida albicans from the oral cavities of healthy children. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2003, vol.45, n.5, pp. 249-257. ISSN 1678-9946.

The aim of this research was to evaluate the protein polymorphism degree among seventy-five C. albicans strains from healthy children oral cavities of five socioeconomic categories from eight schools (private and public) in Piracicaba city, São Paulo State, in order to identify C. albicans subspecies and their similarities in infantile population groups and to establish their possible dissemination route. Cell cultures were grown in YEPD medium, collected by centrifugation, and washed with cold saline solution. The whole-cell proteins were extracted by cell disruption, using glass beads and submitted to SDS-PAGE technique. After electrophoresis, the protein bands were stained with Coomassie-blue and analyzed by statistics package NTSYS-pc version 1.70 software. Similarity matrix and dendrogram were generated by using the Dice similarity coefficient and UPGMA algorithm, respectively, which made it possible to evaluate the similarity or intra-specific polymorphism degrees, based on whole-cell protein fingerprinting of C. albicans oral isolates. A total of 13 major phenons (clusters) were analyzed, according to their homogeneous (socioeconomic category and/or same school) and heterogeneous (distinct socioeconomic categories and/or schools) characteristics. Regarding to the social epidemiological aspect, the cluster composition showed higher similarities (0.788 < SD < 1.0) among C. albicans strains isolated from healthy children independent of their socioeconomic bases (high, medium, or low). Isolates of high similarity were not found in oral cavities from healthy children of social stratum A and D, B and D, or C and E. This may be explained by an absence of a dissemination route among these children. Geographically, some healthy children among identical and different schools (private and public) also are carriers of similar strains but such similarity was not found among other isolates from children from certain schools. These data may reflect a restricted dissemination route of these microorganisms in some groups of healthy scholars, which may be dependent of either socioeconomic categories or geographic site of each child. In contrast to the higher similarity, the lower similarity or higher polymorphism degree (0.499 < SD < 0.788) of protein profiles was shown in 23 (30.6%) C. albicans oral isolates. Considering the social epidemiological aspect, 42.1%, 41.7%, 26.6%, 23.5%, and 16.7% were isolates from children concerning to socioeconomic categories A, D, C, B, and E, respectively, and geographically, 63.6%, 50%, 33.3%, 33.3%, 30%, 25%, and 14.3% were isolates from children from schools LAE (Liceu Colégio Albert Einstein), MA (E.E.P.S.G. "Prof. Elias de Melo Ayres"), CS (E.E.P.G. "Prof. Carlos Sodero"), AV (Alphaville), HF (E.E.P.S.G. "Honorato Faustino), FMC (E.E.P.G. "Prof. Francisco Mariano da Costa"), and MEP (E.E.P.S.G. "Prof. Manasses Ephraim Pereira), respectively. Such results suggest a higher protein polymorphism degree among some strains isolated from healthy children independent of their socioeconomic strata or geographic sites. Complementary studies, involving healthy students and their families, teachers, servants, hygiene and nutritional habits must be done in order to establish the sources of such colonization patterns in population groups of healthy children. The whole-cell protein profile obtained by SDS-PAGE associated with computer-assisted numerical analysis may provide additional criteria for the taxonomic and epidemiological studies of C. albicans.

Keywords : Numerical analysis; SDS-PAGE; C. albicans; Healthy children; Oral cavity.

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