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School of Molecular & Biomedical Science
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
AUSTRALIA 5005

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Candida albicans

Synonym: Candida stellatoidea


Culture of Candida albicans.

On Sabouraud's dextrose agar colonies are white to cream colored, smooth, glabrous and yeast-like in appearance. Microscopic morphology shows spherical to subspherical budding yeast-like cells or blastoconidia, 2.0-7.0 x 3.0-8.5 um in size.


Bubbing yeast cells of Candida albicans

India Ink Preparation: Negative - no capsules present.

Dalmau Plate Culture on Cornmeal and Tween 80 Agar: Pseudohyphae with blastoconidia and terminal vesicles (chlamydoconidia).

Physiological Tests:

Germ Tube test is Positive within 3 hours
Hydrolysis of Urea is Negative
Growth on Cycloheximide medium is Positive
Growth at 37C is Positive


Germ-tubes of Candida albicans

Fermentation Reactions: Where fermentation means the production of gas and is independent of pH changes.

Positive: Glucose; Maltose.
Variable: Galactose; Trehalose.
Negative: Sucrose (some strains positive); Lactose.

Assimilation Tests:

Positive: Glucose; Maltose; Galactose; Trehalose; Sucrose (some negative);D-Xylose; Soluble Starch; D-Mannitol; D-Glucitol (Delayed).
Variable: Melezitose; Glycerol; Succinic acid; L-Arabinose; L-Sorbose; D-Ribose (some positive); Citric acid; DL-Lactic acid.
Negative: Potassium nitrate; Lactose; Ribitol (some positive); Raffinose; Cellobiose; Melibiose; Erythritol; Inositol; L-Rhamnose; D-Arabinose; Galactitol; Salicin.

Clinical significance

Candida albicans occurs naturally as a commensal of mucous membranes and in the digestive tract of humans and animals. It accounts for up to 70% of Candida species isolated from sites of infection and has been reported as a causative agent of all types of candidiasis. Environmental isolations are usually from sources contaminated by human or animal excreta, such as polluted water, soil, air and plants.

Mycosis: Candidiasis

Further reading:

Kreger-Van Rij, N.J.W. (ed) 1984. The Yeasts: a taxonomic study. 3rd Edition. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Rippon, J.W. 1988. Medical Mycology. 3rd Edition. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, USA