Multiple patterns of resistance to fluconazole in Candida glabrata isolates from a patient with oropharyngeal candidiasis receiving head and neck radiation

Spencer W. Redding, William R. Kirkpatrick, Stephen Saville, Brent J. Coco, William White, Annette Fothergill, Michael Rinaldi, Tony Eng, Thomas F. Patterson, Jose Lopez-Ribot

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70 Scopus citations


Candida glabrata has emerged in recent years as a significant cause of systemic fungal infection. We have previously reported on the first three patients receiving radiation for head and neck cancer to develop oropharyngeal candidiasis due to C. glabrata. The goal of this study was to track the development of increased fluconazole resistance in C. glabrata isolates and to evaluate previously described genetic mechanisms associated with this resistance from one of these three patients. The patient was a 52-year-old man with squamous cell carcinoma treated with radiation. At week 7 of his radiation, he developed oropharyngeal candidiasis, which was treated with 200 mg of fluconazole daily for 2 weeks. Serial cultures from this and three subsequent time points yielded C. glabrata. Isolates from these cultures were subjected to antifungal susceptibility testing, DNA karyotyping, and evaluation of the expression of genes previously associated with C. glabrata resistance to fluconazole, CgCDR1, CgCDR2, and CgERG11. Two strains (A and B) of C. glabrata were identified and found to display different patterns of resistance development and gene expression. Strain A developed resistance over a 2-week period and showed no overexpression of these genes. In contrast, strain B first showed resistance 6 weeks after fluconazole therapy was discontinued but showed overexpression of all three genes. In conclusion, development of resistance to fluconazole by C. glabrata is a highly varied process involving multiple molecular mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-622
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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