Development of a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Method for the Identification of Candida Species

AĞCA H., Cilo B. D., Ozmerdiven G. E., Saglam S., ENER B.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.49, no.1, pp.56-65, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.8889
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.56-65
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Candida species are one of the major causes of nosocomial infections and are the fourth most common agent involved in bloodstream infections. The impact of non-albicans Candida species is increasing, however C.albicans is still the most common species. Since the antifungal susceptibility pattern among Candida spp. may be different, rapid diagnosis and identification of non-albicans Candida spp. are important for the determination of antifungal agents that will be used for treatment. The aim of the study was to describe a real-time polymerase chain reaction (Rt-PCR) assay that rapidly detects, identifies and quantitates Candida species from blood culture samples. A total of 50 consecutive positive blood culture bottles (BACTEC, Beckton Dickinson, USA) identified at our laboratory between June-November 2013, were included in the study. Reference strains of Candida spp. (C.albicans ATCC 10231, C.glabrata ATCC 90030, C.tropicalis ATCC 1021, C.krusei ATCC 6258, C.parapsilosis ATCC 22019 and C. dubliniensis CD36) grown on Sabouraud dextrose agar were used for quality control. BACTEC bottles that were positive for Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were also studied to search the cross-reactivity. A commercial kit (Zymo Research, USA) was used for DNA extraction. Real-time PCR was performed on LightCycler 480 (Roche, Germany) with primers and probes specific for 18S rRNA of Candida species. Twenty microlitres of the reaction mix contained 2 mu l of extracted DNA, 2 mu l of LightCycler Fast Start DNA Master Probe (Roche Diagnostics, Germany), 2 mu l of MgCl2 (5 mmol), 2 mu l of 10x PCR buffer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany), 0.5 mu l of each primer (0.01 nmol/mu l) and 1 mu l of each probe (0.1 mu mol/mu l) (TibMolBiol, Germany). Amplification was performed using the following conditions; 95 degrees C for 10 mins and 50 cycles of denaturation at 95 degrees C for 10 secs, annealing at 62 degrees C for 10 secs and polymerisation at 72 degrees C for 20 secs. A melting curve was created by cooling the producs at 50 degrees C for 30 secs and then heating to 80 C at a rate of 0.1 degrees C/sec measuring of the fluorescence simultaneously. For the quantitation of fungal DNA according to the standard curve, serial dilutions of C.albicans ATCC 10231 DNA from 3 x 10(5) to 3 x 10(2) ng/mu l were used. All of the strains were also identified by conventional methods and sequence analysis in order to compare the results obtained by Rt-PCR. In our study, all patient and standard samples could be amplified, identified and quantitated by this developed Rt-PCR method. A total of 50 strains, of them 26 were C.parapsilosis, 15 were C.glabrata, 6 were C.albicans, and 3 were C.tropicalis have been detected and identified among patient samples. The results were completely concordant with the sequencing and conventional methods, so the sensitivity and specificity of this method were estimated as 100 percent. In conclusion, it was novel Rt-PCR developed and evaluated in this study is considered as a rapid, accurate, reproducible, sensitive and specific method for the detection, identification and quantitation of commonly observed Candida spp. strains.