Aim: Many techniques have been used for quantification of Candida colony-forming unit (CFU) in the oral cavity. Also it is proved that unstimulated saliva and concentrated oral rinse show maximum fungal loading. Healthy edentulous patients prior to wearing complete denture do not possess a Candida lesion or accretion of Candida colonies in the palate. Therefore, an appropriate technique to find out the CFU of Candida in such cases is still not clear. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine if palatal swab buffered in saline can be one of the most appropriate techniques to find out CFU of Candida in healthy edentulous patients.
Materials and methods: This was done by comparing CFU count obtained in unstimulated saliva and a palatal swab buffered in phosphate saline in 40 healthy edentulous patients approaching the outpatient department (OPD). Both the samples collected were inoculated on Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) plates for 24 hours. The CFU was counted in digital colony counter.
Results: Paired t-test shows that there is statistically no difference in CFU count obtained from both the methods. The Pearson's correlation coefficient shows a statistically significant positive correlation (p < 0.05) between the two types of sampling techniques.
Conclusion: From the results it can be concluded that palatal swab buffered in saline can be used as one of the techniques to quantify Candida than plain palatal swab which though site specific is not a quantifying technique for the same.
Clinical significance: Using palatal swab buffered in saline technique will help the clinicians to obtain the samples from healthy edentulous patients in the studies involving quantification of Candida.
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