A correct, fast, reliable identification method is pivotal in nosocomial environments to guide treatment strategies, whereas misidentification might lead to treatment failure. For routine identifications the Vitek system and CHROMagar are widely used but not always reliable, especially now with an increasing number of new emerging fungal pathogens that need careful identification. Here we describe two cases of candidemia, due to Candida palmioleophila previously misidentified as Candida albicans by using the Vitek2 system and CHROMagar. The first case is a 54-year-old man with an infected ulcer in the lower right limb, treated with a targeted therapy using a central venous catheter (CVC). After two months he developed a CVC-related candidemia MDR identified as C. albicans. The second case is a 2-month-old male baby that was admitted to the neonatal unit with acute respiratory failure due to a severe community-acquired bilateral pneumonia; blood cultures were all positive for C. albicans MDR. The isolated strains where re-identified with Maldi-Tof and DNA sequencing as C. palmioleophila. From the identification point of view, CHROMagar can be clearly misleading, especially because CHROMagar types currently available are not designed to discriminate new emerging species, suggesting that systems other than MALDI-TOF and marker sequencing may be inadequate even for routine identification and could contribute to producing misleading identifications and therapeutically wrong practices, leading to failures and patient death.
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