Background: Candida-associated infections put a significant burden on western healthcare systems. Development of (multi-)resistant fungi can become untreatable and threaten especially vulnerable target groups, such as the immunocompromised.
Objectives: We assessed antifungal susceptibility and explored possible influence factors of clinical Candida isolates collected from Austrian hospitals between 2007 and 2016.
Methods: Thousand three hundred and sixty clinical Candida spp. isolated from blood cultures were subjected to antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) in a liquid-handling aided continuous microdilution assay. We tested against fluconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, itraconazole, isavuconazole, anidulafungin, caspofungin and micafungin according to EUCAST with additional recording of growth curves. We performed rigid quality control on each assay via growth curve assessment and included two standard reference strains. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were quantified according to EUCAST guideline E.DEF 7.3.1, and susceptibility was evaluated using EUCAST clinical breakpoints.
Results: The isolate collection consisted of Candida albicans (59%), C. glabrata (19%), C. parapsilosis (9%), C. tropicalis (5%) and C. krusei (3%) and few other Candida species and fungi (5%). During the observed time period, species abundance and antifungal resistance rates remained constant. Multi-resistance was rare and we found no single isolate which was resistant to both azoles and echinocandins. Within the antifungal resistance profile of our strain collection, we observed clusters along species boundaries.
Conclusions: Over the last decade, the distribution of Candida species and its level of antifungal resistance remained constant in Austria. Our data compare well with other European countries. Principal component analysis of the susceptibility profile of this collection revealed species-specific clusters and substantial intra-species variation, especially for C. glabrata.
Keywords: Candida; antifungal susceptibility; azoles; echinocandin.
© 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.