An experimental model for study of Candida survival and transmission in human volunteers

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1994 Jul;13(7):590-5. doi: 10.1007/BF01971311.


In order to determine the potential for cross-transmission of Candida spp. between health-care workers and patients, the survival of clinical isolates of five species of Candida on the palms of human volunteers was tested. One hundred microliters of a McFarland 1.0 density suspension (5 x 10(5) cfu) from an overnight culture of Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata was used as inoculum. The degree of hydrophobicity of the different Candida species was also tested and did not influence the survival. The half-lives were brief, being 9.5, 12.4, 7.4, 12.8, 9.6 min for Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis, and Candida tropicalis, respectively, but at 45 min 2.6 x 10(3) to 3 x 10(4) organisms remained on the hands. Survival of Candida albicans for as long as 24 h on inanimate surfaces was observed. Transmission from one hand to a second hand occurred in 69% of the experiments and from the first to a third hand in 38%. Transmission to and from inanimate surfaces was successful in most of the experiments (90%). This experimental model aids in the biological study of Candida spp. and suggests some of the potential mechanisms of transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida / physiology*
  • Candidiasis / transmission*
  • Hand / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient