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Characterization of Biofilms Formed by Candida Parapsilosis, C. Metapsilosis, and C. Orthopsilosis

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Infections due to Candida parapsilosis have been associated with the ability of this fungus to form biofilms on indwelling medical devices. Recently, C. parapsilosis isolates were reclassified into 3 genetically non-identical classes: C. parapsilosis, C. orthopsilosis, and C. metapsilosis. Little information is available regarding the ability of these newly reclassified species to form biofilms on biomedical substrates. In this study, we characterized biofilm formation by 10 clinical isolates each of C. parapsilosis, C. orthopsilosis, and C. metapsilosis. Biofilms were allowed to form on silicone elastomer discs to early (6h) or mature (48 h) phases and quantified by tetrazolium (XTT) and dry weight assays. Surface topography and three-dimensional architecture of the biofilms were visualized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), respectively. Metabolic activity assay revealed strain-dependent biofilm forming ability of the 3 species tested, while biomass determination revealed that all 3 species formed equivalent biofilms (P>0.05 for all comparisons). SEM analyses of representative isolates of these species showed biofilms with clusters of yeast cells adherent to the catheter surface. Additionally, confocal microscopy analyses showed the presence of cells embedded in biofilms ranging in thickness between 62 and 85 microm. These results demonstrate that similar to C. parapsilosis, the 2 newly identified Candida species (C. orthopsilosis and C. metapsilosis) were able to form biofilms.