Revisiting the source of candidemia: skin or gut?

Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Dec 15;33(12):1959-67. doi: 10.1086/323759. Epub 2001 Nov 8.


The source of candidemia has been the subject of considerable debate, with some suggesting a origin in the gastrointestinal tract and others suggesting a skin origin. To evaluate the potential sources of candidemia, we performed a computerized search of the MEDLINE database for studies published from January 1966 through September 2000 and we identified relevant abstracts presented at national meetings. We reviewed the literature with special emphasis on studies that used appropriate definitions, evaluated both gut and skin as sources, and conducted molecular-relatedness studies. Among 203 candidemia studies published, we identified 21 that evaluated a specific source for candidemia and only 5 that performed molecular typing. Those studies and additional experimental, epidemiologic, and molecular-relatedness studies strongly suggested that the gut is an important source of candidemia, and studies that supported the skin as a source for this infection were surprisingly incomplete.

MeSH terms

  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / complications*
  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / microbiology
  • Candidiasis, Oral / complications*
  • Candidiasis, Oral / microbiology
  • Databases, Factual
  • Hematologic Diseases / etiology*
  • Hematologic Diseases / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic