The importance of identifying the pathogenic fungi rapidly has encouraged the development of differential media for the presumptive identification of yeasts. In this study two differential media, CHROMagar Candida and bismuth sulphite glucose glycine yeast agar, were evaluated for the presumptive identification of yeast species.
A total number of 270 yeast strains including 169 Candida albicans, 33 C. tropicalis, 24 C. glabrata, 18 C. parapsilosis, 12 C. krusei, 5 Trichosporon spp., 4 C. kefyr, 2 C. lusitaniae, 1 Saccharomyces cerevisiae and 1 Geotrichum candidum were included. The strains were first identified by germ tube test, morphological characteristics on cornmeal tween 80 agar and Vitek 32 and API 20 C AUX systems. In parallel, they were also streaked onto CHROMagar Candida and bismuth sulphite glucose glycine yeast agar plates. The results were read according to the color, morphology of the colonies and the existance of halo around them after 48 hours of incubation at 37°C.
The sensitivity and specificity values for C. albicans strains were found to be 99.4, 100% for CHROMagar Candida and 87.0, 75.2% for BiGGY agar, respectively. The sensitivity of CHROMagar Candida to identify C. tropicalis, C. glabrata and C. krusei ranged between 90.9 and 100% while the specificity was 100%. The sensitivity rates for BiGGY agar were 66.6 and 100% while the specificity values were found to be 95.4 and 100% for C. tropicalis and C. krusei, respectively.
It can be concluded that the use of CHROMagar Candida is an easy and reliable method for the presumptive identification of most commonly isolated Candida species especially C. albicans, C. tropicalis and C. krusei. The lower sensitivity and specificity of BiGGY agar to identify commonly isolated Candida species potentially limits the clinical usefulness of this agar.