Title: Studies on the prevalence and identification of medically relevant yeasts associated with head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy treatment in Balochistan, Pakistan
Yeasts are the second major cause of infections that occur in the human body. Certain conditions viz., diabetes, HIV, GIT surgery, corticosteroid usage, organ transplant and cancer increase the risk to develop an oral yeast infection. A current study was carried out on the prevalence and identification of medically relevant yeast species in 50 head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy as compared to 50 non-radiotherapy cancer patients and 50 healthy individuals (control). Saliva samples were collected from each category individual and associated yeasts were isolated on YM Agar. All the isolated yeast cultures were preliminarily grown on Candida CHROMagar to screen Candida species. Screened Candida species and non-Candida species were further identified using RapID Yeast Plus System, Oxoid Remel. PCR amplification of ITS regions was carried out using ITS1 and ITS4 universal primers, the amplified products were sequenced and yeast species were identified as Candida albicans, C. glabrata, C. tropicalis, C. krusei (Pichia kudriavzevii) and Cryptococcus diffluens. RFLP pattern of PCR products of identified Candida species and Cryptococcus diffluent was obtained by digesting with MspI restriction enzyme and observed on the gel. Out of 50 samples of head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy, 68% were positive for yeast infection with a prevalence of 4 different Candida species and a species of Cryptococcus (Cryptococcus diffluens). Cryptococcus diffluent appeared to be the new record from human specimens from Pakistan, especially in head and neck cancer patients. On the other hand, in non-radiotherapy cancer patients, 40% yeast infection was observed with a prevalence of 3 different Candida species and in control individuals, only 2 Candida species with 26% prevalence were recorded. Candida albicans was recorded as the most prevalent occurring yeast with a prevalence of 52.94% among patients receiving radiotherapy treatment as compared to non-albicans Candida species (41.18%). This study indicated that radiotherapy not only tends to increase the chance of yeast infection but also elevates the diversity of yeast species in cancer patients. Molecular methods for yeasts identification proved to be more reliable for screening purposes compared to the phenotypic method in the concerned study.
Audience Take Away Notes:
- Will highlight importance and reliability of molecular identification (PCR amplification of ITS regions) of yeasts species compared to phenotypic methods.
- Cryptococcus diffluens (yeast species), a rare Cryptococcus species, was a new record from human specimens from Pakistan especially in head and neck cancer patients. Cryptococcus spp. are recognized as human pathogens and are considered as emerging yeast pathogens and treatment options for these species are not defined. This study will highlight the importance of designing treatment options for Cryptococcus spp. especially in cancer patients as they are more prone to this type of infection pertaining to compromised immune system.
- Will provide data related with prevalence of yeasts species (in cancer patients) in developing countries like Pakistan.
- Will improve concerned field practices.
- Will provide gateways for derivative studies.
- Will help researcher in designing their research in the same field.
- Current presentation will help to educate audience about yeast infection.
- Will provide information about the current scenario of yeast species infection in cancer patients.