Background: The activity and role of different extracellular secreted enzymes has been
characterized in the pathogenesis of different fungal species. Phytase, a special class of histidine acid
phosphatases has recently been specified in some fungal species but not in Candida albicans. The
objective of the present study was to elucidate the ability of C. albicans strains from different sources
to secrete phytate and its correlation to pathogenicity.
Materials and Methods: A total of 100 C. albicans strains of which 25 isolated from patients with
Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC), 25 from normal vagina, 25 from candiduria and 25 from buccal
cavity (healthy people) were included in the study. All strains were cultured on phytase specific agar medium. Phytase activity
was evaluated as phytase index (PI) according to visual method presented by Tsang using.
Results: Overall, 63 strains (63%) including all of the oral isolates, 88% of VVC and 64% of normal vagina isolates had a
high level of phytase activity (Phytase Index ≤ 0.50) while the remaining (37%) included all urinary tracts strains that
were unable to secrete phytase (0.50
Conclusions: It is concluded that, most of the phytase activity was detected in oral and vaginal isolates however to provide
further explanation on the phytase activity of Candida strains, a broader sampling from other clinical and environmental
sources is recommended.