ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Oral Candida colonization and its relation with predisposing factors in HIV-infected patients have received wide concerns during recent decades. In this study, we investigated asymptomatic oral Candida carriage rate, species distribution and antifungal susceptibility of 604 HIV-infected patients and 851 healthy individuals in Kunming, Yunnan Province of China. METHODS: Mucosal swab sampling was taken from each subject and CHROMagar Candida agar medium and API 20C AUX system were used to identify yeast isolates. In vitro antifungal susceptibility was tested by the broth microdilution method according to the M27-A2 document of the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI). RESULTS: The oral yeast colonization rate in HIV-infected patients (49.5%) was higher than that of healthy subjects (20.7%). Candida albicans constituted the most frequent species, accounting for 82.2% of yeast isolates. The remaining species were composed of C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. krusei, C. tropicalis, C. rugosa, C. norvegensis, Pichia ohmeri and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In HIV-infected patients, asymptomatic oral yeast colonization was associated with low CD4 cell count (<200 cells/mm3) and lack of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Different Candida species isolated from our samples presented different susceptibility to voriconazole, fluconazole and itraconazole. Amphotericin B had the best inhibiting effect for all isolates. CONCLUSION: Oral yeast colonization in Han Chinese patients with HIV from Kunming had common and unique features and was associated with CD4 cell number and HARRT. Amphotericin B should be used with first priority in controlling Candida infection in Han Chinese patients from Kunming. Our results provide first hand information on monitoring oral yeasts colonization in HIV-infected patients from Kunming, China.
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