Background: Various species of Candida, especially Candida albicans was known as the most important etiological agent of fungal infections. Oral candidiasis is the most common fungal infection in patients undergoing chemotherapy. The purpose of this study was to identify Candida species from oral lesions of these patients and antifungal susceptibility of the clinical isolates.
Materials and methods: Among 385 patients with cancer, 55 (14.3%) showed oral lesions. Oral swabs were performed to identify the yeasts using direct smear and CHROMagar medium. Micro dilution method was prepared in different concentrations of fluconazole and minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum fungicidal concentration of each species were compared.
Results: Oral candidiasis confirmed in 36 cases by direct examination and culture. C. albicans and non-albicans represented in 26 (72.2%) and 10 (27.8%) of the isolates, respectively. 76.5% of C. albicans and 23.5% non-albicans isolates were resistant to fluconazole. Data were shown that 62% and 30.7% of resistant strains of C. albicans were found in patient with gastrointestinal cancer and lymphoma respectively.
Conclusion: Data were shown that C. albicans is the most commonly identified species in oral candidiasis and majority of fluconazole resistant C. albicans were found in patients with gastrointestinal cancer and lymphoma. Therefore, we recommend an alternative drug instead of fluconazole as a first line of treatment for these type of cancers and administration of fluconazole in patients undergoing chemotherapy should be prescribed in accordance with the type of cancer.
Keywords: Candida; chemotherapy; fluconazole; microbial sensitivity test; oral candidiasis.