Oral candidiasis is a fungal infection that occurs in the mucous membranes of the mouth. It is caused by yeast called Candida. This study was carried out to isolate and identify Candida species from the buccal mucosa and the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the tongue and teeth of patients attending Image Diagnostic Centre, Port Harcourt from May-July 2017. A total of 50 specimens were collected from patients attending the hospital. The specimens were studied by culture on Sabouraud dextrose agar plates. Identification was by Lactophenol staining technique and Biochemical tests using Periodic-acid Schiff stain. Antifungal susceptibility test using disc diffusion method was also done. The antifungal used for susceptibility test was Nystatin, Tinidazole and Fluconazole. Data were subjected to Analysis of variance (ANOVA). Out of 50 specimens, 28 patients were infected while 22 patients were non-infected. The highest number of patients infected was within the age interval of < 20 years 10(20%) while the lowest was within the age interval of 21-23 years 3(6%). The total number of infected male and female patients was 13(46.4%) and 15(53.6%) respectively. The organisms isolated were Candida albicans 11(39.3%), Candida krusei 9(32.1%) and Candida glabrata 8(28.6%). C. albicans was susceptible to Nystatin with 11(39.3%) and resistant to Fluconazole and Tinidazole. C. krusei was susceptible to Fluconazole and Nystatin with 6(21.4%) and 3(10.7%) respectively and C. glabrata was susceptible to Nystatin and Tinidazole with 5(17.9%) and 3(10.7%) respectively. From the statistical analysis, P- value was >0.05(.054, .022 and .008) hence, we conclude there is no significant difference in the antifungal susceptibility. P-value also showed >0.05 (.245 and .295) hence we conclude there is no significant different in the age distribution of Candida species isolated from oral swab while P-value >0.05 (.465 and .553) was obtained hence we conclude there is no significant different in the sex distribution of Candida species isolated from oral swab. Nystatin was found to be more effective in treatment of fungal infection caused by Candida species. Personal oral hygiene should be improved in order to reduce the risk of fungal infection which could lead to death if not properly managed.
Keywords : Yeast, Oral candidiasis, Antifungal susceptibility test.