Candida africana and its closest relatives

Orazio Romeo, Giuseppe Criseo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Candida africana is a recently described opportunistic yeast pathogen that has been linked to vaginal candidiasis. This yeast was first described, in 1995, as atypical chlamydospore-negative Candida albicans strain, and subsequently proposed as a new Candida species on the basis of morphological, biochemical and physiological characteristics clearly different from those of typical C. albicans isolates. Phylogenetic studies based on the comparison of ribosomal DNA sequences demonstrated that C. africana and C. albicans isolates are too closely related to draw any conclusions regarding the status of a new species. Therefore, on the basis of these studies, some authors considered C. africana as a biovar of C. albicans even if genetic differences may be found if additional regions of genomic DNA are sequenced. The taxonomic situation of C. africana and its phylogenetic relationship with other Candida species is still controversial and remains, at present, a matter of debate. Our goal is to review the current knowledge about C. africana and highlight the development of rapid and accurate tests for its discrimination from C. albicans, Candida dubliniensis and Candida stellatoidea. Furthermore, through the analysis of literature data, we have found that C.africana has a worldwide distribution and a considerable number of features making its study particularly interesting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Atypical karyotypes
  • Candida africana
  • Candida albicans chlamydospore-negative
  • Candida dubliniensis
  • Candida stellatoidea
  • Molecular identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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