Profiling of potential pathogenic candida species in obesity

Microb Pathog. 2023 Jan:174:105894. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2022.105894. Epub 2022 Dec 8.


Purpose of research: The aim of the current study was gut profiling of culturable Candida species and their possible pathogenic potential to asses role in obesity.

Methods: This case control study includes stool samples from 75 obese individuals and 50 controls. Isolation and identification of various Candida species was carried out by standard microbiological techniques. For pathogenic profiling, extracellular enzymatic assays, biofilm forming ability and resistance to azole were analyzed.

Results: Culturable gut profiling identified comparative higher abundance and diversity of Candida species among obese compared to controls. The most abundant specie among both groups was C.kefyr. A comparatively higher pathogenic potential as more hydrolases expression was detected in C.kefyr, C.albicans and Teunomyces krusei from obese group. Majority isolates from obese group were strong biofilm formers (47.1%) compared to control group (35.4%) suggesting it as strong risk factor for obesity. Fluconazole resistance was highest among C.kefyr (51%) followed by Teunomyces krusei and C.albicans. All the isolates from different species were voriconazole sensitive except C.kefyr displaying a 4.2% resistance in obese group only. A significant association of dominant colonizing species with meat, fruit/vegetable consumption and residence area was present (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The presence of hydrolytic enzymes in gut Candida species showed strong association with protein's degradation and enhanced pathogenicity. C.kefyr and Teunomyces krusei has emerged as potential pathogen showing increased colonization as result of protein rich and low carb diet. Thus presenting it as a bad choice for weight loss in obese individuals.

Keywords: Candida species; Dysbiosis; Obesity; Opportunistic pathogens; Virulence factors.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Candida albicans
  • Candida*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Obesity


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fluconazole