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Use of phylogenetical analysis to predict susceptibility of pathogenic Candida spp. to antifungal drugs

Maheux, Andrée F., Sellam, Adnane, Piché, Yves, Boissinot, Maurice, Pelletier, René, Boudreau, Dominique K., Picard, François J., Trépanier, Hélène, Boily, Marie-Josée, Ouellette, Marc, Roy, Paul H., Bergeron, Michel G.
Journal of microbiological methods 2016 v.131 pp. 51-60
Candida, antifungal agents, candidiasis, echinocandins, fungi, genes, minimum inhibitory concentration, nucleosides, phylogeny, polyenes, species identification, therapeutics, triazoles
Successful treatment of a Candida infection relies on 1) an accurate identification of the pathogenic fungus and 2) on its susceptibility to antifungal drugs. In the present study we investigated the level of correlation between phylogenetical evolution and susceptibility of pathogenic Candida spp. to antifungal drugs. For this, we compared a phylogenetic tree, assembled with the concatenated sequences (2475-bp) of the ATP2, TEF1, and TUF1 genes from 20 representative Candida species, with published minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the four principal antifungal drug classes commonly used in the treatment of candidiasis: polyenes, triazoles, nucleoside analogues, and echinocandins. The phylogenetic tree revealed three distinct phylogenetic clusters among Candida species. Species within a given phylogenetic cluster have generally similar susceptibility profiles to antifungal drugs and species within Clusters II and III were less sensitive to antifungal drugs than Cluster I species. These results showed that phylogenetical relationship between clusters and susceptibility to several antifungal drugs could be used to guide therapy when only species identification is available prior to information pertaining to its resistance profile. An extended study comprising a large panel of clinical samples should be conducted to confirm the efficiency of this approach in the treatment of candidiasis.