Whole genome sequencing of a clinical drug resistant Candida albicans isolate reveals known and novel mutations in genes involved in resistance acquisition mechanisms

Khalaf, R. A., Fattouh, N., Medvecky, M. and Hrabak, J. (2021) Whole genome sequencing of a clinical drug resistant Candida albicans isolate reveals known and novel mutations in genes involved in resistance acquisition mechanisms. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 70(4), 001351. (doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.001351) (PMID:33909551) (PMCID:PMC8289213)

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Abstract

Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen accounting for the majority of cases of Candida infections. Currently, C. albicans are developing resistance towards different classes of antifungal drugs and this has become a global health burden that does not spare Lebanon. This study aims at determining point mutations in genes known to be involved in resistance acquisition and correlating resistance to virulence and ergosterol content in the azole resistant C. albicans isolate CA77 from Lebanon. This pilot study is the first of its kind to be implemented in Lebanon. We carried out whole genome sequencing of the azole resistant C. albicans isolate CA77 and examined 18 genes involved in antifungal resistance. To correlate genotype to phenotype, we evaluated the virulence potential of this isolate by injecting it into BALB/c mice and we quantified membrane ergosterol. Whole genome sequencing revealed that eight out of 18 genes involved in antifungal resistance were mutated in previously reported and novel residues. These genotypic changes were associated with an increase in ergosterol content but no discrepancy in virulence potential was observed between our isolate and the susceptible C. albicans control strain SC5314. This suggests that antifungal resistance and virulence potential in this antifungal resistant isolate are not correlated and that resistance is a result of an increase in membrane ergosterol content and the occurrence of point mutations in genes involved in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding was obtained from the department of Natural Sciences at the Lebanese American University. In addition, it was also supported by the Charles University Research Fund PROGRES (project number Q39) and by the project Nr. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000787 ‘Fighting Infectious Diseases’ provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Medvecky, Dr Matej
Creator Roles:
Medvecky, M.Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology
Authors: Khalaf, R. A., Fattouh, N., Medvecky, M., and Hrabak, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Medical Microbiology
Publisher:Microbiology Society
ISSN:0022-2615
ISSN (Online):1473-5644
Published Online:28 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Medical Microbiology 70(4): 001351
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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