Starvation survival and recovery in serum of Candida albicans compared with Enterococcus faecalis

Donna Richards, John Keith Davies, David Figdor

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OBJECTIVE: Candida albicans has been a common isolate in posttreatment disease, usually as a monoinfection of the root filled canal. A factor likely to contribute to its pathogenic potential in posttreatment infection is an ability to endure starvation and use serum as a nutritional source. This study evaluated the starvation-survival behavior, growth, and recovery in human serum of C. albicans and compared it with Enterococcus faecalis. STUDY DESIGN: Varying cell densities of C. albicans and E. faecalis were suspended in 5 human serum or water for 4-6 months. Starvation recovery was assessed by addition of 50 serum to starved cells. Cell survival was monitored by periodic removal of aliquots and viable counts. RESULTS: Initial cell density was important for starvation survival. Candida albicans and E. faecalis survived starvation in water for 6 months when the starting cell density was >10(5) and >or=10(8) colony-forming units (cfu)/mL, respectively. Both species thrived in 5 serum from low initial densities (>10(2) and >10(4) cfu/mL for C. albicans and E. faecalis, respectively), and starvation-state cells recovered on addition of 50 serum. CONCLUSION: Candida albicans is well suited for survival in nutrient-limited conditions and can use serum as a source of nutrition and for recovery from starvation. These findings parallel the behavior of E. faecalis, which possesses a similar capacity for starvation survival and growth in serum, traits that are of likely importance for their participation in posttreatment infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125 - 130
Number of pages6
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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