Antifungal Susceptibility and Virulence Attributes of Bloodstream Isolates of Candida from Hong Kong and Finland.
Candida bloodstream infection has dramatically increased in the last decade due to the growing number of immunocompromised populations worldwide. In this study, we evaluated the antifungal susceptibility profiles and virulence attributes of Candida bloodstream isolates (CBIs) derived from Hong Kong and Finland, information which are vital for devising empirical clinical strategies. Susceptibility testing of a wide range of antifungals including fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, ketoconazole, 5-fluorocytosine, amphotericin B and caspofungin was performed. Haemolytic activity and secretion of proteinase of CBIs were also examined. All CBIs derived from Hong Kong were susceptible to all the antifungals tested whilst some CBIs from Finland were resistant to azoles and caspofungin. C. albicans, C. glabrata and C. tropicalis showed higher haemolytic activity whereas C. parapsilosis and C. guilliermondii were non-haemolytic in general. Proteinase activity of the Finland C. albicans isolates was significantly higher than the Hong Kong isolates. Our data provide a glimpse of the possible evolutionary changes in pathogenic potential of Candida that may be occurring in different regions of the world. Therefore, continuous surveillance and availability of local data should be taken into consideration when treating candidemia patients.