BACKGROUND: Candida glabrata is the third leading cause of candidaemia in Turkey; however, the data regarding antifungal resistance mechanisms and genotypic diversity in association with their clinical implication are limited.
OBJECTIVES: To assess genotypic diversity, antifungal susceptibility and mechanisms of drug resistance of C glabrata blood isolates and their association with patients' outcome in a retrospective multicentre study.
PATIENTS/METHODS: Isolates from 107 patients were identified by ITS sequencing and analysed by multilocus microsatellite typing, antifungal susceptibility testing, and sequencing of PDR1 and FKS1/2 hotspots (HSs).
RESULTS: Candida glabrata prevalence in Ege University Hospital was twofold higher in 2014-2019 than in 2005-2014. Six of the analysed isolates had fluconazole MICs ≥ 32 µg/mL; of them, five harboured unique PDR1 mutations. Although echinocandin resistance was not detected, three isolates had mutations in HS1-Fks1 (S629T, n = 1) and HS1-Fks2 (S663P, n = 2); one of the latter was also fluconazole-resistant. All patients infected with isolates carrying HS-FKS mutations and/or demonstrating fluconazole MIC ≥ 32 µg/mL (except one without clinical data) showed therapeutic failure (TF) with echinocandin and fluconazole; seven such isolates were collected in Ege (n = 4) and Gulhane (n = 3) hospitals and six detected recently. Among 34 identified genotypes, none were associated with mortality or enriched for fluconazole-resistant isolates.
CONCLUSION: Antifungal susceptibility testing should be supplemented with HS-FKS sequencing to predict TF for echinocandins, whereas fluconazole MIC ≥ 32 µg/mL may predict TF. Recent emergence of C glabrata isolates associated with antifungal TF warrants future comprehensive prospective studies in Turkey.