Background: Recent reports of the emergence of fluconazole resistance in Candida parapsilosis species complex poses a challenge, more specifically in settings where echinocandin-based treatment regime is not feasible. Objective: This study reported emergence of fluconazole resistance in C. parapsilosis species complex strains isolated from blood cultures. Materials and Methods: This retrospective observational study was conducted from 2018 to 2020 at a tertiary care laboratory from Pakistan. Fluconazole-resistant C. parapsilosis species complex fungemia cases were identified from laboratory database and clinical details were collected. Identification of C. parapsilosis species complex was done using API 20C AUX and Cornmeal Tween80 agar morphology. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined using Sensititre YeastONE and interpretation was done with CLSI M60 ED1:2017. ERG11 gene region was amplified and sequenced by Sanger sequencing and analysed by MEGA 11 Software. Results: A total of 13 (8.5%) fluconazole-resistant isolates were identified from 152 C. parapsilosis species complex candidemia cases. Fluconazole MICs of resistant isolates ranged between 8 and 256 μg/mL. Analysis of ERG11 gene revealed nonsynonymous mutations at position Y132F in 86% of the fluconazole-resistant isolates. Diabetes and hospitalization were important risk factors for candidemia with fluconazole-resistant C. parapsilosis complex. Conclusion: This is the first report of the emergence and molecular mechanisms of fluconazole resistance in C. parapsilosis species complex from Pakistan. Y132F mutation in the ERG11 gene was the most common mutation in fluconazole-resistant strains. These findings are concerning and necessitate better diagnostics, newer antifungals, ongoing surveillance and further insights on resistance mechanisms in the country.
- ERG11 gene region
- fluconazole-resistant Candida parapsilosis