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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682

Abstract

MATTEI, Antonella Souza et al. Determination of germ tube, phospholipase, and proteinase production by bloodstream isolates of Candida albicans. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.3, pp.340-342. ISSN 0037-8682.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0037-8682-0045-2013.

Introduction

Candida albicans is a commensal and opportunistic agent that causes infection in immunocompromised individuals. Several attributes contribute to the virulence and pathogenicity of this yeast, including the production of germ tubes (GTs) and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, particularly phospholipase and proteinase. This study aimed to investigate GT production and phospholipase and proteinase activities in bloodstream isolates of C. albicans.

Methods

One hundred fifty-three C. albicans isolates were obtained from blood samples and analyzed for GT, phospholipase, and proteinase production. The assays were performed in duplicate in egg yolk medium containing bovine serum albumin and human serum.

Results

Detectable amounts of proteinase were produced by 97% of the isolates, and 78% of the isolates produced phospholipase. GTs were produced by 95% of the isolates. A majority of the isolates exhibited low levels of phospholipase production and high levels of proteinase production.

Conclusions

Bloodstream isolates of C. albicans produce virulence factors such as GT and hydrolytic enzymes that enable them to cause infection under favorable conditions.

Keywords : Virulence; Germ tube; Phospholipase; Proteinase; Candida albicans; Candidemia.

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