Prevalence of yeast among children in Nigeria and the United States

M. A. Jabra-Rizk, W. A. Falkler, C. O. Enwonwu, D. I. Onwujekwe, W. G. Merz, T. F. Meiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Fungal infections have gained considerable importance over the last decade as a result of significant increase in the incidence of opportunistic and systemic candidosis. Although Candida albicans is the predominant causative agent of candidosis, particularly oral disease, recently an epidemiological trend has been observed where other less pathogenic species of Candida, including the newly characterized species Candida dubliniensis, are emerging as significant opportunistic pathogens. The present study aimed to screen for the presence of C. dubliniensis and to compare the recovery of yeast species from 30 seemingly healthy and 30 HIV-positive children in the United States, as well as from 64 malnourished Nigerian children. Oral samples were cultured for fungal growth, and all germ tube and chlamydospore positive isolates were tested for ability to grow at 45 °C to differentiate between C. albicans and C. dubliniensis. All isolates were speciated based on colony color production on CHROMagar medium and sugar assimilation profiles. Among the 30 HIV-positive children, 15 (50%) were positive for fungus; 12 were positive for C. albicans, with one of the latter also positive for Candida glabrata, and three were found to harbor C. dubliniensis. Among the 30 non-HIV-positive children, five C. albicans and four C. dubliniensis isolates were recovered. No C. dubliniensis isolates were recovered from the Nigerian group. However, eight other different yeast species were recovered from 31 (48.4%) of the 64 Nigerian children sampled, with six of them growing a combination of species. In comparing the data from the Nigerian and United States children, the frequency of yeasts in the malnourished Nigerian group was considerably higher. The most striking difference between the two groups was in the variety of the usually less encountered and less pathogenic yeast species recovered from the Nigerian population. The findings support previously reported observations that there may be intrinsic differences between different populations sampled and that malnutrition might favor the presence of yeast species other than C. albicans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-385
Number of pages3
JournalOral Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Geographic distribution
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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