Candida oral colonization and infection in Brazilian patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy: a pilot study.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to verify the profile of Candida species responsible for colonizing and infecting the oral cavity of Brazilian patients undergoing radiotherapy (RT). STUDY DESIGN Saliva samples were collected from 21 patients before, during, and immediately after RT. Each sample was distributed in agar Sabouraud dextrose/chlorophenicol and incubated at 37 degrees C for 18 hours. Emerging colonies were identified biochemically and through the germinative tube test. Patients were examined weekly to identify clinical candidiasis. RESULTS Candida colonization continuously increased during RT. Infection occurred in 52% of the patients, and baseline colonization was higher in infected patients. A shift toward non-albicans species was observed in both infected and noninfected patients. CONCLUSIONS RT leads to increased colonization and infection by Candida. The shift toward non-albicans species was unrelated to antifungal therapy. There may be epidemiological differences between infected and noninfected patients.

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