Candida albicans normally produces blastoconidia measuring 2 to 8 μm in diameter. Markedly enlarged “giant” (≈30 μm) blastoconidia of a C. albicans isolate (designated BH) were observed after growth on commercially prepared chocolate agar already supplemented with IsoVitalex (BBL-Microbiology Systems, Cockeysville, MD, USA). Morphologically, “giant” blastoconidia presented a spectrum of forms such as blastoconidia with linear creases, with a single broad-based bud resembling Blastomyces dermatididis, with multiple buds resembling Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, or elliptical in shape. “Giant” blastoconidia contained a large oval clear vacuole occupying greater than 50% of the blastoconidium. Pseudohyphae emanating from these blastoconidia were also enlarged and contained a similar oval inclusion. Rarely observed were “giant” blastoconidia with either adherent or internalized blastoconidia uniformly arranged within the blastoconidium. “Giant” or enlarged blastoconidia production was constant, usually approaching 10 to 20% of the blastoconidial units comprising a single colony, irrespective of the number of subcultures. IsoVitalex supplementation of Remel (Lexana, KS, USA) chocolate agar but not a variety of other media also resulted in “giant” blastoconidia production. It is, therefore, theorized that a component(s) of IsoVitalex activates/blocks a gene present in select clones of C. albicans blastoconidia resulting in “giant” or enlarged blastoconidiogenesis.
Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 1999
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