Candidemia caused by Candida tropicalis has more serious adverse consequences and an even higher mortality. Time to positivity (TTP) has been widely used to identify microbial species, resistant microorganisms and distinguish real pathogens and pollutants. However, few studies have demonstrated TTP as a presumptive diagnosis of C. tropicalis in patients with candidemia.
A retrospective study of 136 episodes of candidemia and simulated blood cultures with 314 episodes of confirmed Candida strains were applied to explore the role of TTPs in diagnosing C. tropicalis. TTPs were recorded as the shorter one if both aerobic and anaerobic vials were positive. Lastly, relationships were tested between TTPs and resistance and initial inocula concentration.
For the retrospective study, the mean of TTPs for C. tropicalis from 136 patients with candidemia was significantly shorter than other Candida species. The area under the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve was 0.8896 ± 0.030 with a sensitivity of 92.86% and a specificity of 77.87%, respectively, indicating TTPs with a cut-off value of <25.50 h had a strong diagnostic power for C. tropicalis in patients with candidemia. Moreover, TTPs from 314 simulated blood cultures showed similar results as the retrospective study, demonstrating TTP is a powerful diagnostic tool in early diagnosing C. tropicalis in patients with candidemia. Additionally, our results showed no statistical significance between TTPs and initial inocula concentration and resistance of Candida species, suggesting initial inocula concentration does not impact TTPs, and TTPs may not be promising in predicting the resistance of all Candida species.