Direct isolation of Candida spp. from blood cultures on the chromogenic medium CHROMagar Candida

Lynn L. Horvath*, Duane R. Hospenthal, Clinton K. Murray, David P. Dooley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


CHROMagar Candida is a selective and differential chromogenic medium that has been shown to be useful for identification of Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida tropicalis, and perhaps Candida glabrata. Colony morphology and color have been well defined when CHROMagar Candida has been used to isolate yeast directly from clinical specimens, including stool, urine, respiratory, vaginal, oropharyngeal, and esophageal sources. Direct isolation of yeast on CHROMagar Candida from blood cultures has not been evaluated. We evaluated whether the color and colony characteristics produced by Candida spp. on CHROMagar Candida were altered when yeasts were isolated directly from blood cultures. Fifty clinical isolates of Candida were inoculated into aerobic and anaerobic blood culture bottles and incubated at 35°C in an automated blood culture system. When growth was detected, an aliquot was removed and plated onto CHROMagar Candida. As a control, CHROMagar Candida plates were inoculated with the same isolate of yeast grown on Sabouraud dextrose agar simultaneously. No significant difference was detected in color or colony morphology between the blood and control isolates in any of the tested organisms. All C. albicans (n = 12), C. tropicalis (n = 12), C. glabrata (n = 9), and C. krusei (n = 5) isolates exhibited the expected species-specific colony characteristics and color, whether isolated directly from blood or from control cultures. CHROMagar Candida can be reliably used for direct isolation of yeast from blood cultures. Direct isolation could allow mycology laboratories to more rapidly identify Candida spp., enable clinicians to more quickly make antifungal agent selections, and potentially decrease patient morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2629-2632
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


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