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Routine use of a one minute trehalase and maltase test for the identification of Candida glabrata in four laboratories

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Perry


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Aims: To evaluate the rapid identification of Candida glabrata using a one minute trehalase and maltase test in four clinical laboratories. Method: The test was evaluated with 944 freshly isolated yeasts comprising 572 C glabrata and 372 non-C glabrata strains. These strains were isolated on one of three differential media-Candida ID, CHROMagar Candida, or Albicans ID2 medium-and all strains were fully identified using standard methods. Results: The trehalase and maltase test allowed the overall identification of 550 of 572 C glabrata strains (sensitivity, 96.2%) and only 11 of 372 isolates of other yeast species yielded a false positive result (specificity, 96.8%). Sensitivity and specificity were consistent from one laboratory to another. Using Candida ID medium, the rapid trehalase and maltase test showed a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 96.2%. Using CHROMagar Candida sensitivity and specificity were 95.6% and 98.1% respectively. Using Albicans ID2 medium (tested by two laboratories), the sensitivity was 100% and 98.5% and specificity was 98.1% and 98.2%. In 60% of cases, the test could be performed directly from the primary isolation medium, thus reducing the time for identification. Conclusion: The rapid trehalase and maltase test was highly reliable for the presumptive identification of C glabrata on primary isolation using three different chromogenic media. Direct recognition of C albicans by means of their characteristic colour on chromogenic media coupled with one minute trehalase maltase testing performed only on suspect colonies of C glabrata allowed for rapid presumptive identification of the two yeast species most commonly encountered in clinical samples.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Piens MA, Perry JD, Raberin H, Parant F, Freydiere AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Pathology

Year: 2003

Volume: 56

Issue: 9

Pages: 687-689

ISSN (print): 0021-9746

ISSN (electronic): 1472-4146

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/jcp.56.9.687


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