API 20c: A reliable and rapid diagnostic tool for Fungal Infections

Muhammad Akbar Agha, Shaheen Akbar Agha, Shaheen Sharafat, Rizwana Barakzai, Naveed-uz-Zafar , Muhammad Rafique Khanani, Muhammad Aamir Mirza


Background: Invasive candida infections pose a significant risk especially in intensive care units. Its early and accurate diagnosis is important for the timely administration of antifungal therapy. This study was conducted to evaluate the API 20C for the diagnosis of candidiasis.

Material & Methods: In this comparative study the samples were taken from 300 immunocompromised subjects. All the samples were processed in conventional way i.e. microscopy, culture and growth on special media and by API 20C as well. The API 20C method involved single step for filling tubes and results were read after 18 hours of incubation. The results were analyzed by SPSS version 16.

Results: Fungal infection was detected in 165 samples. Both methods had similar results in identifying C. albicans 51.5%, C. glabrata 23.6%, C. tropicalis 7.9%, and C. krusei 7.3%. Whereas the non-candida albicans spp. like C. parapsilosis 3%, C. guiliermondii, C. keyfer, C. stellatoidea, Candida famata each 1.2% were detected only by API 20C along with non-candidal yeasts like Saccharomyces. cerevisiae, Geotrichum spp, Cryptococcus neoformans, each 0.6%.

Conclusion: API-20C is a better procedure for the diagnosis of candidiasis and should be adopted as routine diagnostic procedure in the clinical microbiological laboratories.

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© 2011 Gomal Journal of Medical Sciences