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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1976273, 5 pages
Research Article

Experimental Germ Tube Induction in Candida albicans: An Evaluation of the Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate on Morphogenesis and Comparison with Pooled Human Serum

1Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences, Box A178, Harare, Zimbabwe
2Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences, Box A178, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe

Correspondence should be addressed to Pasipanodya Nziramasanga

Received 20 January 2017; Revised 23 April 2017; Accepted 10 May 2017; Published 5 June 2017

Academic Editor: György Schneider

Copyright © 2017 Tapiwa Matare et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The potential of NaHCO3 versus human serum to induce germ tube formation in Candida albicans was investigated. Specimens. A total of 100 isolates were obtained from oral swabs of patients presenting with thrush. Approval for the study was granted by the Joint Research Ethics Committee (JREC/23/08). Method. Confirmed C. albicans isolates by routine methods were tested for germ tube induction using 5 different concentrations of Tris-maleate buffered NaHCO3 and Tris-maleate buffer control. Standard control strains included were C. albicans (ATCC 10231) and C. krusei (ATCC 6258). Microculture was done in 20 μL inoculums on microscope slides for 3 hours at 37°C. The rate of germ tube formation at 10-minute intervals was determined on 100 isolates using the optimum 20 mM Tris-maleate buffered NaHCO3 concentration. Parallel germ tube formation using human serum was done in test tubes. Results. The optimum concentration of NaHCO3 in Tris-maleate buffer for germ tube induction was 20 mM for 67% of isolates. Only 21% of isolates formed germ tubes in Tris-maleate buffer control. There was no significant difference in induction between human serum and Tris-maleate buffered NaHCO3. Conclusion. Tris-maleate buffered NaHCO3 induced germ tube formation in C. albicans isolates at rates similar to human serum.