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Molecular characterization and antifungal susceptibility testing of Candida nivariensis from blood samples – an Iranian multicentre study and a review of the literature

29 Aug 2019


Identification of the emerging yeast species Candida nivariensis among presumptively identified Iranian Candida glabrata isolates.


Clinical C. glabrata species complex isolates from blood (n=100; 46.9%), vaginal swabs (n=20; 9.4%), bronchoalveolar lavage (n=10; 4.7%) and sputum (n=12; 5.6%) from 68 patients from Iran were investigated. Isolates were characterized by CHROMagar, multiplex PCRs, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting, internal transcribed spacer (ITS)/large subunit (LSU) rDNA and FKS1/FKS2 sequencing, and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing broth microdilution method. A comprehensive literature review was conducted and all the relevant clinical and microbiological data were collected.


Four C. nivariensis isolates were recovered from blood samples of three subjects and were all consistently identified by nine-plex PCR, Bruker MALDI-TOF MS, and LSU and ITS rDNA sequencing. AFLP genotyping clustered the isolates into two groups. Sequencing of the FKS1 and FKS2 hotspots showed no accountable amino acid substitutions. All isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, anidulafungin and micafungin.


In total, 4 out of 213 clinical C. glabrata species complex candidemia isolates were C. nivariensis. Improvement of the BioMerieux Vitek MS database is required to accurately identify C. nivariensis and it is advised to alternatively use CHROMagar and/or PCR-based techniques. As other species within the Nakaseomyces clade may cause infection and showed high MIC values for antifungals, inclusion of their spectra into the MALDI-TOF MS database seems relevant. Due to developing resistance to fluconazole and insufficient efficacy of caspofungin, the combination of catheter removal plus treatment with caspofungin, or voriconazole, or micafungin might be effective for patients.