Frequency of Cutaneous Fungal Infections and Azole Resistance of the Isolates in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Mycology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Mycology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Diabetic patients are more susceptible to cutaneous fungal infections. The higher blood sugar levels cause increasing the cutaneous fungal infections in these patients. The main objective of this study was to find the frequency of fungal infections among cutaneous lesions of diabetic patients and to investigate azole antifungal agent susceptibility of the isolates. Materials and Methods: In this study, type 1diabetes (n = 78) and type 2 diabetes (n = 44) comprised 47 cases (38.5%) with diabetic foot ulcers and 75 cases (61.5%) with skin and nail lesions were studied. Fungal infection was confirmed by direct examination and culture methods. Antifungal susceptibility testing by broth microdilution method was performed according to the CLSI M27-A and M38-A references. Results: Out of 122 diabetic patients, thirty (24.5%) were affected with fungal infections. Frequency of fungal infection was 19.1% in patients with diabetic foot ulcer and 28% of patients with skin and nail lesions. Candida albicans and Aspergillus flavus were the most common species isolated from thirty patients with fungal infection, respectively. Susceptibility testing carried out on 18 representative isolates (13 C. albicans, five C. glabrata) revealed that 12 isolates (10 C. albicans and two C. glabrata isolates) (66.6%) were resistant (minimum inhibitory concentration [MIC] ≥64 mg/ml) to fluconazole (FCZ). Likewise, eight isolates (80%) of Aspergillus spp. were resistant (MIC ≥4 mg/ml), to itraconazole. Conclusion: Our finding expands current knowledge about the frequency of fungal infections in diabetic patients. We noted the high prevalence of FCZ-resistant Candida spp., particularly in diabetic foot ulcers. More attention is important in diabetic centers about this neglected issue.


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