Stable azole drug resistance associated with a substrain of Candida albicans from an HIV-infected patient

T. C. White, M. A. Pfaller, M. G. Rinaldi, J. Smith, Spencer W Redding

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94 Scopus citations


Oral candidiasis is one of the earliest and most frequent complications of a failing immune system in HIV-infected individuals. For several years, oral candidiasis has been treated effectively with azole drugs, the one most frequently used is fluconazole. Unfortunately, extensive use of the drug for treatment and prophylaxis has led to treatment failure in an increasing number of patients. In most of these cases, strains of C. albicans isolated from the infection are less susceptible to fluconazole. The development of azole resistance in strains of C. albicans has been studied biochemically and more recently with molecular techniques. One excellent example of the development of azole resistance in C. albicans has been documented in a series of 17 C. albicans isolates from a single patient over a 2-year period. During this time, the patient experienced 14 episodes of oral candidiasis and was treated with increasing doses of fluconazole. Molecular and biochemical analyses confirms that the isolates are the same strain of C. albicans and that the resistance in these isolates is stable over 600 generations, suggesting that the changes in this strain are genetic in nature. In addition, the development of resistance is correlated with the identification of a substrain or variant of the original strain, as identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis with the moderately repetitive probe, Ca3. The analysis of this series of isolates demonstrates that azole drug resistance is associated with several small genetic changes, each of which contributes to the overall resistance of the strain. Clearly, continual use of azole drugs by a patient can select for genetic changes that render oral candidiasis refractory to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S102-S109
JournalOral Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - May 1997


  • Antifungal
  • Azole
  • Candida albicans
  • Drug resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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