Yeasts from Scarlet ibises (Eudocimus ruber): A focus on monitoring the antifungal susceptibility ofCandida famataand closely related species

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This study aimed to identify yeasts from the gastrointestinal tract of scarlet ibises (Eudocimus ruber) and from plant material collected from the environment where they live. Then, the isolates phenotypically identified as Candida famata were submitted to molecular identification of their closely related species and evaluated for their antifungal susceptibility and possible resistance mechanisms to antifungal drugs. Cloacal swabs from 20 scarlet ibises kept in captivity at Mangal das Garças Park (Brazil), pooled stool samples (n = 20) and samples of trunks and hollow of trees (n = 20) obtained from their enclosures were collected. The samples were seeded on Sabouraud agar supplemented with chloramphenicol. The 48 recovered isolates were phenotypically identified as 15 Candida famata, 13 Candida catenulata, 2 Candida intermedia, 1 Candida lusitaniae, 2 Candida guilliermondii, 1 Candida kefyr, 1 Candida amapae, 1 Candida krusei, 8 Trichosporon spp., and 4 Rhodotorula spp. The C. famata isolates were further identified as 3 C. famata, 8 Debaryomyces nepalensis, and 4 C. palmioleophila. All C. famata and C. palmioleophila were susceptible to caspofungin and itraconazole, while one D. nepalensis was resistant to fluconazole and voriconazole. This same isolate and another D. nepalensis had lower amphotericin B susceptibility. The azole resistant strain had an increased efflux of rhodamine 6G and an alteration in the membrane sterol content, demonstrating multifactorial resistance mechanism. Finally, this research shows that scarlet ibises and their environment harbor C. famata and closely related species, including antifungal resistant isolates, emphasizing the need of monitoring the antifungal susceptibility of these yeast species.

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