We investigated the azole resistance mechanisms and clinical features of fluconazole-nonsusceptible (FNS) isolates of Candida tropicalis recovered from Korean surveillance cultures in comparison with fluconazole-less-susceptible (FLS) isolates. Thirtyfive clinical isolates of C. tropicalis, comprising 9 FNS (fluconazole MIC, 4 to 64 μg/ml), 12 FLS (MIC, 1 to 2 μg/ml), and 14 control (MIC, 0.125 to 0.5 μg/ml) isolates, were assessed. CDR1, MDR1, and ERG11 expression was quantified, and the ERG11 and UPC2 genes were sequenced. Clinical features of 16 patients with FNS or FLS bloodstream isolates were analyzed. Both FNS and FLS isolates had >10-fold higher mean expression levels of CDR1, MDR1, and ERG11 genes than control isolates (P values of <0.02 for all). When FNS and FLS isolates were compared, FNS isolates had 3.4-fold higher mean ERG11 expression levels than FLS isolates (P = 0.004), but there were no differences in those of CDR1 or MDR1. Of all 35 isolates, 4 (2 FNS and 2 FLS) and 28 (8 FNS, 11 FLS, and 9 control) isolates exhibited amino acid substitutions in Erg11p and Upc2p, respectively. Both FNS and FLS bloodstream isolates were associated with azole therapeutic failure (3/4 versus 4/7) or uncleared fungemia (4/6 versus 4/10), but FNS isolates were identified more frequently from patients with previous azole exposure (6/6 versus 3/10; P = 0.011) and immunosuppression (6/6 versus 3/10; P = 0.011). These results reveal that the majority of FNS C. tropicalis isolates show overexpression of CDR1, MDR1, and ERG11 genes, and fungemia develops after azole exposure in patients with immunosuppression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases