Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common disease in hospitalized patients with indwelling devices especially in the intensive care units (ICUs). Candida species are the etiologic agents of 20% - 25% of UTI in ICUs, and the most common organisms after Escherichia coli. Although fungal UTIs are clearly rare in comparison with bacterial UTIs, however there has been an increase in the prevalence of Candida species since 1980s. Despite Candida albicans being a main etiologic agent of fungal UTI, non-albicans Candida species (NACs) such as C. krusei, and C. glabrata, are repeatedly isolated from clinical samples. Identification of Candida to the species level is crucial due to expanding resistance of NACs to the antifungal agents.
The present study aimed to identify the causative agents of fungal UTI among hospitalized patients at the ICU ward of Al-Zahra university hospital in Isfahan, Iran.
From March 2017 to October 2018, 100 ICU patients with positive urine cultures of Candida species were registered in Isfahan, Iran. All clinical isolates were sub-cultured on sabouraud dextrose agar, and CHROMagar Candida media and incubated at 37°C for 48 hours. Molecular identification was performed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique using specific primers.
Candida albicans was the most prevalent species among clinical isolates (94%) followed by Candida tropicalis (4%), Candida glabrata (1%), and Candida parapsilosis (1%). Most patients belonged to the age range of 71 - 80. Diabetes mellitus and neutropenia were the main risk factors among patients.
Since Candida albicans was the most prevalent species in the present study, and due to its various sensitivities to antifungal agents, antifungal susceptibility testing for clinical isolates is recommended for better management of Candida UTI.
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