An accurate and rapid identification of Candida species in cancer patients with pulmonary symptoms can provide important information for effective treatment. Candida infections represent an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in patients receiving immunosuppressive chemotherapy for cancer, organ transplantation or in immunocompromised. We used conventional methods such as culture, fermentation reactions, morphology and molecular methods based on the ribosomal DNA repetitive regions or the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) for the identification of Candida species. Seventy bronchial specimens of Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL) from cancer patients at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center. Lahore, Pakistan were included in this study. Seventy cancer patients were diagnosed on the basis of histological profile. Candida detected by conventional methods using Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA), potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation, germ tube test, fermentation reactions and Gomori methanamine-silver stain (GMS). Thirty (42 %) positive isolates of Candida species were obtained by culture, twenty (28 %) isolates were germ tube test positive while thirty isolates (42 %) were positive by PCR method. In conclusion, the results of our study showed that the PCR based detection methods are significantly better and can detect Candida with more accuracy and specificity as compared to conventional methods. Our study would pave the path for optimization of protocols for detection of Candida in cancer patients.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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