Microbiological and virulence aspects of Rhodotorula mucilaginosa

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Isabele Carrilho Jarros
Flávia Franco Veiga
Jakeline Luiz Corrêa
Isabella Letícia Esteves Barros
Marina Cristina Gadelha
Morgana F. Voidaleski
Neli Pieralisi
Raissa Bocchi Pedroso
Vânia A. Vicente
Melyssa Negri
Terezinha I Estivalet Svidzinski


We aimed to characterize microbiologically clinical isolates of R. mucilaginosa isolated from colonization of a patient with chronic renal disease (CKD), as well as to evaluate their phylogeny, antifungal susceptibility, virulence, and pathogenicity in order to infer the potential to become a possible infective agent. For this study, two isolates of R. mucilaginosa from oral colonization of a CKD patient were isolated, identified and characterized by classical (genotypic and phenotypic) methods. Susceptibility to conventional antifungals was evaluated, followed by biofilm production, measured by different techniques (total biomass, metabolic activity, colony forming units and extracellular matrix quantification). Finally, the pathogenicity of yeast was evaluated by infection of Tenebrio molitor larvae. All isolates were resistant to azole and sensitive to polyenes and they were able to adhere and form biofilm on the abiotic surface of polystyrene. In general, similar profiles among isolates were observed over the observed periods (2, 24, 48 and 72 hours). Regarding extracellular matrix components of biofilms at different maturation ages, R. mucilaginosa was able to produce eDNA, eRNA, proteins, and polysaccharides that varied according to time and the strain. The death curve in vivo model showed a large reduction in the survival percentage of the larvae was observed in the first 24 hours, with only 40 % survival at the end of the evaluation. We infer that colonization of chronic renal patients by R. mucilaginosa offers a high risk of serious infection. And also emphasize that the correct identification of yeast is the main means for an efficient treatment.

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Jarros, I. C., Veiga, F. F., Corrêa, J. L., Barros, I. L. E., Gadelha, M. C., Voidaleski, M. F., Pieralisi, N., Pedroso, R. B., Vicente, V. A., Negri, M., & Svidzinski, T. I. E. (2020). Microbiological and virulence aspects of Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. EXCLI Journal, 19, 687-704. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2019-1672
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