Objective: The isolation of Candida sp in nosocomial infections is on the increase and over the past 10 years many guidelines for "good" practices and recommendations have been published on the modalities for the management of systemic candidiasis. The aim of this paper was to assess the habits in the intensive care units in this domain in France.
Method: A transversal survey on the habits was conducted from March to May 2001, using a questionnaire mailed to 200 intensive care units.
Results: One hundred eighty questionnaires (surgical reanimation: 12%, medical: 18%, medico-surgical: 70%) out of 200 (92.5%) were returned. The indirect diagnostic examinations: serology, search for antigenemia and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) were never used in 21, 35 and 65% of cases. The systematic search for colonisation (a mean of 4 areas sampled) was conducted in all the patients by 19% of the investigators, in some patients by 53%, and never by 28%. An antifungal treatment was prescribed: in the presence of a positive haemoculture alone, once out of twice if the sample had been taken from a central catheter and in 2 cases out of 3 when the sample was peripheral. It was prescribed 6 times out of 10 after isolation of Candida sp following surgery or on needle aspiration of an intra-abdominal abscess, varyingly in the case of cadiduria, isolation of a Candida sp in a broncho-pulmonary sample or in abdominal draining and positive culture of a catheter, depending on the intensity of the colonisation, the severity of the clinical picture and the presence of factors of risk for Candida infection. It is still prescribed empirically depending on the same elements and the absence of explanation for worsening. When faced with candidemia in a non-neutropenic patient, a central catheter is not changed in 18% of cases. Depending on the microbiology, fluconazole is prescribed in: the identification of yeast without further precision (78% of cases), Candida sp without further precision (86% of cases), Candida non albicans without further precision (57% of cases), C. albicans (93% of cases), Candida non albicans other than C. krusei and C. glabrata (62% of cases), C. glabrata (36% of cases) with an increase in dose in 1 out of 2 cases. In the presence of C. glabrata or C. krusei, amphotericin B is the choice in respectively 51 and 75% of cases. To adapt the treatment.