, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 269-280

Comparative media studies in the isolation ofCandida albicans from pregnant women

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Rice agar and corn meal agar, with and without Tween 80, were evaluated clinically as directly inoculable selective and differential media for the isolation ofC. albicans from vulvovaginal specimens taken from pregnant women. Chlamydospore formation on these media was investigated as a criterion for the identification ofC. albicans.

Of 301 patients cultured, 118 (39.2 %) gave positive cultures for yeast-like fungi of the genusCandida. Of 118 strains for which fermentation patterns were determined, 69 (58.5 %) gave the pattern forC. albicans. Of these, 56 (81.1 %) formed chlamydospores.

Tween 80 was found to exert a very stimulating influence on chlamydospore production. Rice agar with Tween 80 appeared to be the most efficient medium for eliciting chlamydospores. However, since strains of 4 out of 6 species ofCandida isolated were found to sporulate it was concluded that chlamydospore formation is not a reliable criterion for the speciation ofC. albicans.

Each of the 4 media served satisfactorily as a directly inoculable selective medium for the isolation of yeast-like fungi of the genusCandida from vulvovaginal specimens. None of the media appeared to preferentially stimulate chlamydospore production inC. albicans.