Increased virulence of Candida albicans after antineoplastic chemotherapy
Although yeasts of the genus Candida are part of the normal human oral microbiota, in cancer patients they may be associated with invasive fungal infections. Antineoplastic therapy, with its adverse side effects, increases the likelihood of such infection. One of the important virulence factors is the capacity of yeast cells to adhere to the surface of medical devices inserted into patients. In this study, we tested the in vitro adhesive and film-growing capacity of four Candida albicans samples, isolated before and during chemotherapy from the oral cavity of a patient with adenocarcinoma. Adherence to the orotracheal tube (OTT) and biofilm production were assessed spectrophotometrically and the amount of film growth was estimated by measuring fungal metabolism. Also, the frequency and size of germ tubes were evaluated. The results showed a significant increase in the germ tube size of C. albicans and also an increase in yeast adherence to the OTT after the start of chemotherapy with mitoxantrone.