Prevalence and susceptibility profile of Candida spp. isolated from patients in cancer therapy

Vanessa Castro de Souza e Silva, Viviane de Cássia Oliveira, Álvaro Francisco Lopes de Sousa, Felipe Lazarini Bim, Ana Paula Macedo, Denise de Andrade, Evandro Watanabe

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: This study determined the prevalence of Candida spp. in the saliva of cancer patients. Furthermore, we assessed the antimicrobial activity of mouthwashes against the isolated strains and its susceptibility to amphotericin B and fluconazole. Methods: Thirty-four cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, chemotherapy alone or combined treatment were investigated for oral Candida spp. colonization and compared in regard to mucositis presence. The maximum inhibitory dilution was used to assess the antimicrobial activity of Periogard®, Cepacol® Cool Ice and 0.12 % Chlorhexidine Digluconate mouthwashes against the isolates. In parallel, susceptibility to amphotericin B and fluconazole was determined by agar-based E-test. Data did not adhere to normal distribution as inferred by the Shapiro–Wilk test and statistical analysis was conducted by non-parametric McNemar test (α0.05). Results: Twenty-seven participants (79.4 %) were male, 19 (55.9 %) had mucositis and 9 (26.5 %) were colonized by Candida spp. 12 different strains of Candida spp. were isolated, being Candida albicans the most prevalent strain. Risk of Candida spp. colonization was increased by almost twofold among the participants with mucositis (odds ratio: 1.84; 95 % confidence interval: 0.37–9.07). Mouthwash Cepacol® Cool Ice presented better antimicrobial activity against Candida spp. while 0.12 % Chlorhexidine exhibited the worst activity. All strains were sensitive to amphotericin B, and 2 non-albicans strains were dose-dependent sensitive to fluconazole. Conclusion: Considering the increased risk of colonization byCandida spp. in patients with mucositis, and the emergence of antifungal drug resistance, the antiseptics use could benefit the maintenance of cancer patient's oral health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104906
Pages (from-to)104906-
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Antifungal
  • Candida
  • Mouthwashes
  • Mucositis
  • Neoplasms
  • Oral health


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