Original Research. Candida in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: Clinical Findings and Risk Factors

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Background: Candida, and especially Candida albicans, colonizes the oral mucosa and becomes invasive when the immune system weakens. Therefore, frequently, oral and maxillofacial pathology can be associated with Candida. Objective: The qualitative and quantitative assessment of Candida colonization of the oral cavity in patients with oro-maxillo-facial conditions; to establish an association between the different contributing factors and colonization. Material and methods: Samples were collected from 70 patients hospitalized in the Clinic of Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgery, by rinsing the mouth with sterile saline; historical data were also collected. The samples were analyzed at the Microbiology Laboratory of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Tîrgu Mureș, using Sabouraud agar medium. For each isolate, the antifungigram for Fluconazole and Voriconazole was performed following the CLSI standards. Results: From the 70 samples 45.7% were positive for 11 different yeast species. Regarding predisposing factors, most importantly, smoking was significantly associated with Candida colonization (OR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.42-3.84; p <0.05). Other factors, such as radiotherapy, oral hygiene or antibiotics, are related, but not statistically significant in our study. Candida albicans was the predominant species (38.8%). The testing of Candida albicans and non-albicans to Fluconazole showed an increased resistance (52.4%) in both cases, while the resistance to Voriconazole was 50% and 12.5%, respectively. Conclusions: Colonization of the oral cavity with Candida is present in about half of the patients with OMF conditions, and this is probably not only due to classical predisposing factors, but also due to chronic oral pathology and to several risk factors like smoking or radiotherapy.

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