Print E-mail
Volume 44, Number 3, June 2011

Oral Candida isolates among HIV-infected subjects in Nigeria

Emeka Innocent Nweze, Ulu Lawrence Ogbonnaya

Received: December 30, 2009    Revised: May 24, 2010    Accepted: July 5, 2010   


Corresponding author:

Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
E-mail address: (E.I. Nweze).


Background and purpose: 

Nigeria is a West African country of more than 150 million persons with the second highest case of HIV/AIDS infected patients in the world. The species spectrum of oral yeast colonization and the susceptibility to a wide range of antifungal agents is poorly understood in Nigeria especially in the south east, south south, and the northern axis. This study evaluates the species spectrum of oral colonization by Candida species in HIV-infected patients in Nigeria and the in vitro susceptibility pattern of the Candida isolates to a broad range of antifungal agents.



Two hundred oropharyngeal swabs from HIV-infected patients and 100 age-matched healthy controls were screened for yeast isolates using standard procedures and confirmed by the analytical profile index 20C along with other biochemical tests. In vitro susceptibility testing of the yeast isolates to antifungals were performed using the broth microdilution method protocol recommended by the Clinical Laboratory Scientific Institute.



Of 200 patients screened, 120 (60%) were colonized by yeasts. C albicans was the dominating species in both groups with 54 (45%) isolated from HIV subjects. The non-albicans Candida species accounted for 55% with C tropicalis 22 (18.3%) showing the highest frequency. We observed that 11.7% of all yeasts isolates were resistant to fluconazole, 8.3% to flucytosine, 7.5% to itraconazole, and 1.7% to voriconazole. All isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B and most of them demonstrated very low voriconazole minimal inhibitory concentrations. Apart from C albicans, C tropicalis and C parapsilosis isolates were also recovered from apparently healthy control subjects.



Although C albicans continues to be the dominant Candida species in oral Candida carriage of HIV-infected patients in Nigeria, the nonalbicans Candida species are increasing. Furthermore, the finding of resistant isolates in our study emphasizes the need for antifungal susceptibility testing whenever antifungal treatment is desired especially in HIV-infected subjects.


Key words:

Antifungal susceptibility, Antiretroviral therapy, HIV patients, Nigeria, Oral Candida, Yeast