The echinocandins are relatively new antifungal drugs that represent, together with the older azoles, the recommended and/or preferred agents to treat candidaemia and other forms of invasive candidiasis in human patients. If "time is of the essence" to reduce the mortality for these infections, the administration of appropriate antifungal therapy could be accelerated by the timely reporting of laboratory test results. In this study, we attempted to validate a MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry-based assay for the antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) of the potentially multidrug-resistant pathogen Candida glabrata against anidulafungin and fluconazole. The practical applicability of the assay, reported here as MS-AFST, was assessed with a panel of clinical isolates that were selected to represent phenotypically and genotypically/molecularly susceptible or resistant strains. The data show the potential of our assay for rapid detection of antifungal resistance, although the MS-AFST assay performed at 3 h of the in vitro antifungal exposure failed to detect C. glabrata isolates with echinocandin resistance-associated FKS2 mutations. However, cell growth kinetics in the presence of anidulafungin revealed important cues about the in vitro fitness of C. glabrata isolates, which may lead to genotypic or phenotypic antifungal testing in clinical practice.
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