Rapid antifungal susceptibility testing by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry analysis.
ABSTRACT: The widespread use of antifungal agents, which is likely to expand with their enhanced availability, has promoted the emergence of drug-resistant strains. Antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) is now an essential procedure for guiding appropriate antifungal therapy. Recently, we developed a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)-based method that enables the detection of fungal isolates with reduced echinocandin susceptibility, relying on the proteome changes that are detectable after a 15-h exposure of fungal cells to serial drug concentrations. Here, we describe a simplified version of this approach that facilitates discrimination of the susceptible and resistant isolates of Candida albicans after a 3-h incubation in the presence of "breakpoint" level drug concentrations of the echinocandin caspofungin (CSF). Spectra at concentrations of 0 (null), 0.03 (intermediate), and 32 (maximal) ?g/ml of CSF were used to create individual composite correlation index (CCI) matrices for 65 C. albicans isolates, including 13 fks1 mutants. Isolates are then classified as susceptible or resistant to CSF if the CCI values of spectra at 0.03 and 32 ?g/ml are higher or lower, respectively, than the CCI values of spectra at 0.03 and 0 ?g/ml. In this way, the drug resistance of C. albicans isolates to echinocandin antifungals can be quickly assessed. Furthermore, the isolate categorizations determined using MALDI-TOF MS-based AFST (ms-AFST) were consistent with the wild-type and mutant FKS1 genotypes and the AFST reference methodology. The ms-AFST approach may provide a rapid and reliable means of detecting emerging antifungal resistance and accelerating the initiation of appropriate antifungal treatment.
Project description:Mutations in two specific regions of the Fks1 subunit of 1,3-beta-D-glucan synthase are known to confer decreased caspofungin susceptibility on Candida spp. Clinical isolates of Candida spp. (404 Candida albicans, 62 C. tropicalis, and 21 C. krusei isolates) sent to the French National Reference Center were prospectively screened for susceptibility to caspofungin in vitro by the broth microdilution reference method of the Antifungal Susceptibility Testing Subcommittee of the European Committee on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing (AFST-EUCAST). Twenty-eight isolates (25 C. albicans, 2 C. tropicalis, and 1 C. krusei isolate) for which the caspofungin MIC was above the MIC that inhibited 90% of the isolates of the corresponding species (MIC(90)) were subjected to molecular analysis in order to identify mutations in the fks1 gene. Substitutions in the deduced protein sequence of Fks1 were found for 8 isolates, and 20 isolates had the wild-type sequence. Among the six C. albicans isolates harboring mutations, six patterns were observed involving amino acid changes at positions 641, 645, 649, and 1358. For C. tropicalis, one isolate showed an L644W mutation, and for one C. krusei isolate, two mutations, L658W and L701M, were found. Two media, RPMI medium and AM3, were tested for their abilities to distinguish between isolates with wild-type Fks1 and those with mutant Fks1. In RPMI medium, caspofungin MICs ranged from 0.25 to 2 microg/ml for wild-type isolates and from 1 to 8 micro for mutant isolates. A sharper difference was observed in AM3: all wild-type isolates were inhibited by 0.25 micro of caspofungin, while caspofungin MICs for all mutant isolates were >or=0.5 microg/ml. These data demonstrate that clinical isolates of C. albicans, C. tropicalis, and C. krusei with decreased susceptibility to caspofungin in vitro have diverse mutations in the fks1 gene and that AM3 is potentially a better medium than RPMI for distinguishing between mutant and wild-type isolates using the AFST-EUCAST method.
Project description:The echinocandins are relatively new antifungal drugs that represent, together with the older azoles, the recommended and/or preferred agents to treat candidaemia and other forms of invasive candidiasis in human patients. If "time is of the essence" to reduce the mortality for these infections, the administration of appropriate antifungal therapy could be accelerated by the timely reporting of laboratory test results. In this study, we attempted to validate a MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry-based assay for the antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) of the potentially multidrug-resistant pathogen Candida glabrata against anidulafungin and fluconazole. The practical applicability of the assay, reported here as MS-AFST, was assessed with a panel of clinical isolates that were selected to represent phenotypically and genotypically/molecularly susceptible or resistant strains. The data show the potential of our assay for rapid detection of antifungal resistance, although the MS-AFST assay performed at 3?h of the in vitro antifungal exposure failed to detect C. glabrata isolates with echinocandin resistance-associated FKS2 mutations. However, cell growth kinetics in the presence of anidulafungin revealed important cues about the in vitro fitness of C. glabrata isolates, which may lead to genotypic or phenotypic antifungal testing in clinical practice.
Project description:Candida auris has simultaneously emerged on five continents as a fungal pathogen causing nosocomial outbreaks. The challenges in the treatment of C. auris infections are the variable antifungal susceptibility profiles among clinical isolates and the development of resistance to single or multiple classes of available antifungal drugs. Here, the in vitro susceptibility to echinocandin antifungal drugs was determined and FKS1 sequencing was performed on 106 C. auris clinical isolates. Four isolates were identified to be resistant to all tested echinocandins (MIC ? 4 mg/liter) and harbored an S639F mutation in FKS1 hot spot region 1. All remaining isolates were FKS1 wild type (WT) and echinocandin susceptible, with micafungin being the most potent echinocandin (MIC50 = 0.125 mg/liter). Antifungal susceptibility testing with caspofungin was challenging due to the fact that all FKS1 WT isolates exhibited an Eagle effect (also known as the paradoxical growth effect), which occurred at various intensities. To assess whether the Eagle effect resulted in pharmacodynamic resistance, 8 representative isolates were evaluated for their in vivo drug response in a murine model of invasive candidiasis. All isolates were susceptible to caspofungin at a human therapeutic dose, except for those harboring the S639F mutation. The data suggest that only isolates carrying mutations in FKS1 are echinocandin resistant and that routine in vitro testing of C. auris isolates for susceptibility to caspofungin by the broth microdilution method should be viewed cautiously or avoided.
Project description:INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES:An increase in antifungal resistant Candida strains has been reported in recent years. The aim of this study was to detect mutations in resistance genes of azole-resistant, echinocandin-resistant or multi-resistant strains using next generation sequencing technology, which allows the analysis of multiple resistance mechanisms in a high throughput setting. METHODS:Forty clinical Candida isolates (16 C. albicans and 24 C. glabrata strains) with MICs for azoles and echinocandins above the clinical EUCAST breakpoint were examined. The genes ERG11, ERG3, TAC1 and GSC1 (FKS1) in C. albicans, as well as ERG11, CgPDR1, FKS1 and FKS2 in C. glabrata were sequenced. RESULTS:Fifty-four different missense mutations were identified, 13 of which have not been reported before. All nine echinocandin-resistant Candida isolates showed mutations in the hot spot (HS) regions of FKS1, FKS2 or GSC1. In ERG3 two homozygous premature stop codons were identified in two highly azole-resistant and moderately echinocandin-resistant C. albicans strains. Seven point mutations in ERG11 were determined in azole-resistant C. albicans whereas in azole-resistant C. glabrata, no ERG11 mutations were detected. In 10 out of 13 azole-resistant C. glabrata, 12 different potential gain-of-function mutations in the transcription factor CgPDR1 were verified, which are associated with an overexpression of the efflux pumps CDR1/2. CONCLUSION:This study showed that next generation sequencing allows the thorough investigation of a large number of isolates more cost efficient and faster than conventional Sanger sequencing. Targeting different resistance genes and a large sample size of highly resistant strains allows a better determination of the relevance of the different mutations, and to differentiate between causal mutations and polymorphisms.
Project description:The objective of this study was to characterize the underlying molecular mechanisms in consecutive clinical Candida albicans isolates from a single patient displaying stepwise-acquired multidrug resistance.Nine clinical isolates (P-1 to P-9) were susceptibility tested by EUCAST EDef 7.2 and Etest. P-4, P-5, P-7, P-8 and P-9 were available for further studies. Relatedness was evaluated by MLST. Additional genes were analysed by sequencing (including FKS1, ERG11, ERG2 and TAC1) and gene expression by quantitative PCR (CDR1, CDR2 and ERG11). UV-spectrophotometry and GC-MS were used for sterol analyses. In vivo virulence was determined in the insect model Galleria mellonella and evaluated by log-rank Mantel-Cox tests.P-1?+?P-2 were susceptible, P-3?+?P-4 fluconazole resistant, P-5 pan-azole resistant, P-6?+?P-7 pan-azole and echinocandin resistant and P-8?+?P-9 MDR. MLST supported genetic relatedness among clinical isolates. P-4 harboured four changes in Erg11 (E266D, G307S, G450E and V488I), increased expression of ERG11 and CDR2 and a change in Tac1 (R688Q). P-5, P-7, P-8 and P-9 had an additional change in Erg11 (A61E), increased expression of CDR1, CDR2 and ERG11 (except for P-7) and a different amino acid change in Tac1 (R673L). Echinocandin-resistant isolates harboured the Fks1 S645P alteration. Polyene-resistant P-8?+?P-9 lacked ergosterol and harboured a frameshift mutation in ERG2 (F105SfsX23). Virulence was attenuated (but equivalent) in the clinical isolates, but higher than in the azole- and echinocandin-resistant unrelated control strain.C. albicans demonstrates a diverse capacity to adapt to antifungal exposure. Potentially novel resistance-inducing mutations in TAC1, ERG11 and ERG2 require independent validation.
Project description:Liver transplant recipients are at risk of invasive fungal infections, especially candidiasis. Echinocandin is recommended as prophylactic treatment but is increasingly associated with resistance. Our aim was to assess echinocandin drug resistance in Candida spp. isolated from liver transplant recipients treated with this antifungal class. For this, all liver-transplanted patients in a University Hospital (Créteil, France) between January and June of 2013 and 2015 were included. Susceptibilities of Candida isolates to echinocandins were tested by Etest and the EUCAST reference method. Isolates were analyzed by FKS sequencing and genotyped based on microsatellites or multilocus sequence typing (MLST) profiles. Ninety-four patients were included, and 39 patients were colonized or infected and treated with echinocandin. Echinocandin resistance appeared in 3 (8%) of the treated patients within 1 month of treatment. One patient was colonized by resistant Candida glabrata, one by resistant Candida dubliniensis, and one by resistant Candida albicans Molecular analysis found three mutations in FKS2 HS1 (F659S, S663A, and D666E) for C. glabrata and one mutation in FKS1 HS1 (S645P) for C. dubliniensis and C. albicans Susceptible and resistant isolates belonged to the same genotype. To our knowledge, this is the first study on echinocandin resistance in Candida spp. in a liver transplant population. Most resistant isolates were found around/in digestive sites, perhaps due to lower diffusion of echinocandin in these sites. This work documents the risk of emergence of resistance to echinocandin, even after short-term treatment.
Project description:Echinocandin antifungal agents have become the first-line therapy for invasive candidiasis (IC) in many countries. Despite their increasing use, resistance to this class of drug is, overall, still uncommon. Here, we report two patients from the People's Republic of China with IC, one with infection caused by pan-echinocandin-resistant Candida tropicalis and the other by pan-echinocandin-resistant Candida glabrata. We also describe the mechanisms of drug resistance of these isolates. The echinocandin-resistant C. glabrata isolate was cultured from ascitic fluid of a 46-year-old male patient with intra-abdominal IC developing after surgery in 2012. This patient had had no prior antifungal exposure. The echinocandin-resistant C. tropicalis isolate was cultured from chest drainage fluid of a 60-year-old female patient with severe coronary disease and lung infection. Prior to culture and identification of the isolate, the patient had received micafungin treatment for 19 days. Both isolates were cross-resistant to micafungin, anidulafungin, and caspofungin, with minimum inhibitory concentration values of ?2 µg/mL. The amino acid substitution E655K was found adjacent to the FKS2 HS1 region of the C. glabrata isolate, while the substitution S80P were found in the FKS1 HS1 region of the C. tropicalis isolate. This report highlights the emergence of echinocandin resistance in two important non-albicans Candida species. Although the overall prevalence of echinocandin resistance is low in the People's Republic of China, monitoring of antifungal susceptibility trends in all Candida species is warranted.
Project description:Candida glabrata is the second leading cause of candidemia in the United States. Its high-level resistance to triazole antifungal drugs has led to the increased use of the echinocandin class of antifungal agents for primary therapy of these infections. We monitored C. glabrata bloodstream isolates from a population-based surveillance study for elevated echinocandin MIC values (MICs of ≥0.25 μg/ml). From the 490 C. glabrata isolates that were screened, we identified 16 isolates with an elevated MIC value (2.9% of isolates from Atlanta and 2.0% of isolates from Baltimore) for one or more of the echinocandin drugs caspofungin, anidulafungin, and micafungin. All of the isolates with elevated MIC values had a mutation in the previously identified hot spot 1 of either the glucan synthase FKS1 (n = 2) or FKS2 (n = 14) gene. No mutations were detected in hot spot 2 of either FKS1 or FKS2. The predominant mutation was mutation of FKS2-encoded serine 663 to proline (S663P), found in 10 of the isolates with elevated echinocandin MICs. Two of the mutations, R631G for FKS1 and R665G for FKS2, have not been reported previously for C. glabrata. Multilocus sequence typing indicated that the predominance of the S663P mutation was not due to the clonal spread of a single sequence type. With a rising number of echinocandin therapy failures reported, it is important to continue to monitor rates of elevated echinocandin MIC values and the associated mutations.
Project description:Candida albicans causes life-threatening systemic infections in immunosuppressed patients. These infections are commonly treated with fluconazole, an antifungal agent targeting the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway. Current Antifungal Susceptibility Testing (AFST) methods are time-consuming and are often subjective. Moreover, they cannot reliably detect the tolerance phenomenon, a breeding ground for the resistance. An alternative to the classical AFST methods could use Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) Mass spectrometry (MS). This tool, already used in clinical microbiology for microbial species identification, has already offered promising results to detect antifungal resistance on non-azole tolerant yeasts. Here, we propose a machine-learning approach, adapted to MALDI-TOF MS data, to qualitatively detect fluconazole resistance in the azole tolerant species C. albicans. MALDI-TOF MS spectra were acquired from 33 C. albicans clinical strains isolated from 15 patients. Those strains were exposed for 3 h to 3 fluconazole concentrations (256, 16, 0 ?g/mL) and with (5 ?g/mL) or without cyclosporin A, an azole tolerance inhibitor, leading to six different experimental conditions. We then optimized a protein extraction protocol allowing the acquisition of high-quality spectra, which were further filtered through two quality controls. The first one consisted of discarding not identified spectra and the second one selected only the most similar spectra among replicates. Quality-controlled spectra were divided into six sets, following the sample preparation's protocols. Each set was then processed through an R based script using pre-defined housekeeping peaks allowing peak spectra positioning. Finally, 32 machine-learning algorithms applied on the six sets of spectra were compared, leading to 192 different pipelines of analysis. We selected the most robust pipeline with the best accuracy. This LDA model applied to the samples prepared in presence of tolerance inhibitor but in absence of fluconazole reached a specificity of 88.89% and a sensitivity of 83.33%, leading to an overall accuracy of 85.71%. Overall, this work demonstrated that combining MALDI-TOF MS and machine-learning could represent an innovative mycology diagnostic tool.
Project description:The identification of FKS1 mutations in Candida albicans associated with echinocandin resistance has raised concerns over the spread of drug-resistant strains. We studied the impact of fks1 mutations on C. albicans virulence and fitness. Compared with wild-type strains for FKS1, echinocandin-resistant C. albicans strains with homozygous fks1 hot-spot mutations had reduced maximum catalytic capacity of their glucan synthase complexes and thicker cell walls attributable to increased cell wall chitin content. The fks1 mutants with the highest chitin contents had reduced growth rates and impaired filamentation capacities. Fks1 mutants were hypovirulent in fly and mouse models of candidiasis, and this phenotype correlated with the cell wall chitin content. In addition, we observed reduced fitness of echinocandin-resistant C. albicans in competitive mixed infection models. We conclude that fks1 mutations that confer echinocandin resistance come at fitness and virulence costs, which may limit their epidemiological and clinical impact.