Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology

Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology Vol. 1 (3), pp. 040-046, November, 2013.© Advanced Scholars Journals 

Full Length Research Paper

Heteroresistance to fluconazole among isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans in Northern Thailand

Suwannee Keerativasee1, Chantana Khamwan2, Manasanant Boonchoo2, Kantarawee Khayhan3, Aksarakorn Kummasook4, Dechphipat Amornthipayawong5,Prasit Tharavichitkul6, and Pojana Sriburee6*

1The office of Disease  Prevention and Control 9th Phitsanulok, Thailand.

2Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, Thailand.

3Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Science,  University of Phayao, Thailand.

4Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Technology,  Western University, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

5Laboratory of Microbiology, Medical Technology Unit, Nan Hospital, Thailand.

6Department of Microbiology,  Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: psribure@ med.cmu.ac.th.  Tel: 6653945332.  Fax: +6653217144.

Accepted 6 October, 2013

Abstract 

We had determined that 190 Cryptococcus neoformans isolates (104 clinical and 86 environmental isolates from northern Thailand) were all susceptible to amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole and ketoconazole. Of 14 selected isolates, one clinical isolate (CN4969) exhibited heterogeneity in fluconazole resistance, which produced two subpopulations of the fluconazole-resistant (CN4969HR) and -susceptible (CN4969S) subpopulations. To clarify the molecular mechanisms of fluconazole resistance, the expression of drug resistance genes was determined by using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Both the ERG11 and MDR1 transcript levels showed at least a 2-fold increase in CN4969HR isolate compared to the fluconazole-susceptible isolates (H99, CN4901 and CN4969S), whereas the expression level of the AFR1 gene in CN4969HR was equivalent to that of isolates H99, CN4901 or CN4969S. Collectively, this study demonstrates the existing of the fluconazole heteroresistant population among clinical isolates of C. neoformans in northern part of Thailand and molecular mechanism of fluconazole-susceptible and resistant isolates.

Key words: Heteroresistance, fluconazole, C. neoformans, Thailand.

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