Candida albicans is not always the preferential yeast colonizing humans: a study in Wayampi Amerindians

J Infect Dis. 2013 Nov 15;208(10):1705-16. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit389. Epub 2013 Jul 31.


In industrialized countries Candida albicans is considered the predominant commensal yeast of the human intestine, with approximately 40% prevalence in healthy adults. We discovered a highly original colonization pattern that challenges this current perception by studying in a 4- year interval a cohort of 151 Amerindians living in a remote community (French Guiana), and animals from their environment. The prevalence of C. albicans was persistently low (3% and 7% of yeast carriers). By contrast, Candida krusei and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were detected in over 30% of carriers. We showed that C. krusei and S. cerevisiae carriage was of food or environmental origin, whereas C. albicans carriage was associated with specific risk factors (being female and living in a crowded household). We also showed using whole-genome sequence comparison that C. albicans strains can persist in the intestinal tract of a healthy individual over a 4-year period.

Keywords: MLST; amerindians; candida albicans; intestinal colonization; whole-genome sequencing; yeasts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Candida albicans / classification
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Carrier State / epidemiology
  • Carrier State / microbiology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • French Guiana
  • Genome, Fungal
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Prevalence
  • Yeasts / classification
  • Yeasts / physiology
  • Young Adult