Quantitative Evaluation of Fungi of the Genus Candida in the Feces of Adult Patients With Type 1 and 2 Diabetes - A Pilot Study

Gut Pathog. 2014 Oct 15;6(1):43. doi: 10.1186/s13099-014-0043-z. eCollection 2014.


Background: Gastrointestinal tract microbiota, particularly bacterial microflora, seem to have a different qualitative and quantitative composition in both type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) mellitus cases as compared to non-diabetic individuals. So far, there are no data from diabetes research concerning the prevalence of fungi, particularly the most common genus, i.e. Candida, which are important components of human colon microflora. We aimed to examine whether there are quantitative changes of Candida fungi in the feces of patients with T1DM and T2DM as compared to healthy controls.

Findings: Overall, we included 44 diabetic patients (27 patients with T1DM and 17 with T2DM) as well as 17 healthy, non-diabetic controls. Feces and blood samples were collected from all study individuals. DNA was isolated from fecal samples and quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) was applied in order to determine the number of fungal cells. Statistical association with selected clinical and biochemical features was examined. There was a difference in the amount of Candida in the feces among the three examined groups (p = 0.007). Candida spp. populations in T1DM and T2DM subjects were larger as compared to controls (p = 0.017 and p = 0.037, respectively). However, no difference was found between T1DM and T2DM. No association was identified between the quantity of fungi and examined patients' characteristics, except for negative correlation with blood lipid parameters in T2DM group.

Conclusions: Candida fungi appear to be more prevalent in the feces of patients with T1DM and T2DM. Their amount seems to be associated with serum lipids in T2DM patients. This initial finding requires further confirmation.

Keywords: Candida; Feces; Serum lipids; T1DM; T2DM.