Eswabtm for the Collection of Fungal Surveillance Culture from Immunocompromised Patients

C. Fontana, M. Favaro, M. Del Principe, M. Bossa, S. Minelli, A. Altieri, C. Favalli

Author address: 

Dep. of Med. ,Hematology and Microbiol. Tor Vergata Univ., Roma, Italy


Background: Fungal infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients especially when undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment or immune suppression for bone-marrow and solid organs transplantation. Candida and Aspergillus are the most common fungal pathogens responsible for invasive fungal infection (IFI) and its diagnosis is difficult and late to confirm. Throat, nasal and rectal swabs are collected for fungal surveillance cultures (SCs) for IFIs. Copan ESwabTM (ES) is a Liquid Based Microbiology device that is used for collecting all clinical specimens for the diagnosis of infectious diseases including fungal. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the performance of ES for the collection of clinical specimens for the detection of fungal and yeast in SCs. Methods: The study was carried out on 23148 samples received by the Microbiology laboratory of Tor Vergata university from 05, 2009 to 12 2015. All samples were collected in ES from immunocompromised patients (oncohematology, and stem cell transplantation). SCs for the detection of yeasts and filamentous fungi were performed on swabs collected in ES, (nasal 12,499 (54%), throat 8796 (38%) and rectal 1852 (8%). All ES specimens were loaded on the WASPTM, plated on appropriate agar, incubated at 37°C for 24h, and 15d at 28°C and read daily. Positive isolates were identified by Vitek 2 System (bioMérieux) for yeasts and by microscopic exam as well as MALDI-TOF (Bruker) for filamentous fungi (FI). FI were sequenced, with a partial 18S rDNA gene (Applera) and aligned to NCBI data bank.Results: Two hundred and sixty (1.12%) positive were isolated (80.1% throat, 8.1% rectal and 11.8% nasal) including (90.7%) Candida spp. like C. albicans, (59.5%) C. tropicalis (15.8%), C. glabrata (9.7%) and C. parapsilosis (5.1%). Penicillium was isolated in 2.2% specimens (3.2% Aspergillus (niger, fumigatus and nidulans) 0.8%) other filamentous fungi). SCs detected a fatal case of Scopulariopsis acremonium in a bone marrow transplant recipient and 3 clinical cases of G. clavatum.Conclusions: Both Candida and FI were easily detected (after 24-48h for yeast and 48h-5d for fungi) from all clinical specimens submitted in EswabTM, demonstrating that is a good device for preserving yeasts and fungi viability.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

ASM Microbe 2016
    • ASM microbe 1st (2016)