Current methods for identifying clinically important cryptic Candida species

Giuseppe Criseo, Fabio Scordino, Orazio Romeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, the taxonomy of the most important pathogenic Candida species (Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis and Candida glabrata) has undergone profound changes due to the description of new closely-related species. This has resulted in the establishment of cryptic species complexes difficult to recognize in clinical diagnostic laboratories. The identification of these novel Candida species seems to be clinically relevant because it is likely that they differ in virulence and drug resistance. Nevertheless, current phenotypic methods are not suitable to accurately distinguish all the species belonging to a specific cryptic complex and therefore their recognition still requires molecular methods. Since traditional mycological techniques have not been useful, a number of molecular based methods have recently been developed. These range from simple PCR-based methods to more sophisticated real-time PCR and/or MALDI-TOF methods. In this article, we review the current methods designed for discriminating among closely related Candida species by highlighting, in particular, the limits of the existing phenotypic tests and the development of rapid and specific molecular tools for their proper identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Candida africana
  • Candida albicans
  • Candida glabrata
  • Candida parapsilosis
  • Cryptic Candida species
  • Molecular identification
  • Pathogenic yeasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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