Molecular mechanisms of fluconazole resistance in Candida dubliniensis isolates from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with oropharyngeal candidiasis

Sofia Perea, José L. López-Ribot, Brian L. Wickes, William R. Kirkpatrick, Olga P. Dib, Stefano P. Bachmann, Suzanne M. Keller, Marcos Martinez, Thomas F. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Candida dubliniensis is a newly identified species of Candida that is phenotypically similar to but genetically distinct from C. albicans. This organism has been recovered with increasing frequency from the oral cavities of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and AIDS patients and has been implicated as a causative agent of oral candidiasis and systemic disease. In the present study we characterized the molecular mechanisms of resistance to fluconazole (FLC) in C. dubliniensis clinical isolates from two different HIV-infected patients with oropharyngeal candidiasis. Isolates were identified to the species level by phenotypic and genotypic tests. DNA-typing techniques were used to assess strain identity. Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed by NCCLS techniques. Northern blotting analysis was used to monitor the expression of genes encoding lanosterol demethylase (ERG11) and efflux transporters (CDR and MDR1) in matched sets of C. dubliniensis-susceptible and -resistant isolates by using probes generated from their homologous C. albicans sequences. In addition, ERG11 genes were amplified by PCR, and their nucleotide sequences were determined in order to detect point mutations with a possible effect in the affinity for azoles. Decreasing susceptibilities to FLC were detected in C. dubliniensis isolates recovered from both patients during the course of treatment. FLC-resistant C. dubliniensis isolates from one patient demonstrated combined upregulation of the MDR1, CDR1, and ERG11 genes. Among the isolates from the second patient, all isolates showing decreased susceptibility to FLC demonstrated upregulation of MDR1, whereas the levels of mRNA for the ERG11 genes remained constant and the expression of CDR genes was negligible. Fourteen point mutations were found in the ERG11 genes of the isolates with decreased susceptibility to FLC. These data demonstrate that the development of azole resistance in C. dublinensis clinical isolates from HIV-infected patients treated with FLC is mediated by multiple molecular mechanisms of resistance, similar to the observations found in the case of C. albicans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1695-1703
Number of pages9
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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