Microbiology and epidemiology of oral yeast colonization in hemopoietic progenitor cell transplant recipients

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We monitored the epidemiology and microbiology of oral yeast colonization in patients undergoing hemopoietic progenitor cell transplantation (HPCT) to examine associations between yeast colonization and oral mucositis.

Study Design.

One hundred twenty-one consecutive HPCT patients were sampled for oral yeasts prior to fluconazole (FLC) prophylaxis, at transplantation, and weekly until discharge. Clinical oral mucositis screenings were performed triweekly.


Yeast colonization was evident at 216 of 510 total visits. Candida albicans and Candida glabrata were the predominant organisms. Eight patients showed elevated minimal inhibitory concentrations to FLC. One patient developed fungal septicemia. Patients with oral mucositis assessment scale scores <20 had higher colonization rates than those with higher scores.


FLC is effective in controlling a variety of oral yeasts in HPCT recipients. FLC-resistant yeasts do emerge and can be the source of fungal sepsis. A positive association was not shown between yeast colonization and the presence or severity of oral mucositis.

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