, Volume 172, Issue 6, pp 429–438 | Cite as

In Vitro Evaluation of Phospholipase, Proteinase, and Esterase Activities of Candida parapsilosis and Candida metapsilosis

  • Yi Ping Ge
  • Gui Xia Lu
  • Yong Nian Shen
  • Wei Da Liu


The aim of this study is to characterize extracellular phospholipase, proteinase, and esterase activities of Candida parapsilosis and C. metapsilosis isolated from clinical sources. Using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) of the secondary alcohol dehydrogenase (SADH) gene fragment, we identified 20 as C. parapsilosis and 11 as C. metapsilosis from 31 isolates of C. parapsilosis species complex. No C. orthopsilosis was identified. A significantly high isolation frequency of C. metapsilosis (35.5%) was observed. Subsequent evaluation of enzymatic profile showed that 90.5% of C. parapsilosis and 91.7% of C. metapsilosis isolates were phospholipase producers. No difference in phospholipase activity was observed between two species. In terms of proteinase, 81.0% of C. parapsilosis and 83.3% of C. metapsilosis isolates were positive. A higher level of proteinase activity was detected in C. parapsilosis. A remarkably high proportion of both C. parapsilosis and C. metapsilosis isolates exhibited strong phospholipase and proteinase activities, suggesting that the production of these two enzymes might be common for them. On the other hand, both species similarly displayed rare esterase activity, with only one C. parapsilosis and two C. metapsilosis isolates being positive. Our data may further add to the confusion concerning the hydrolytic enzymatic activities of the C. parapsilosis complex, and a wider collection of isolates and standardized methods may help to address the issue.


Candida parapsilosis Candida metapsilosis Identification Phospholipase Proteinase Esterase 



We would like to thank Prof. Frank C. Odds and Dr. Donna M. MacCallum for providing two reference strains used in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Ping Ge
    • 1
  • Gui Xia Lu
    • 1
  • Yong Nian Shen
    • 1
  • Wei Da Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Mycology, Institute of DermatologyChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeNanjingChina

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