Stable Susceptibility of Candida Blood Isolates to Fluconazole Despite Increasing Use During the Past 10 Years

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2003 Jul;52(1):71-7. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkg275. Epub 2003 May 29.


The prevalence of drug-resistant bacterial pathogens is very high in Taiwan. Accordingly, there was great concern that the introduction of fluconazole would result in rapid emergence of drug-resistant yeasts. Thus, we recommended in 1991 that fluconazole be used for treatment only. To explore the impact of this policy fluconazole susceptibility of Candida species blood culture isolates and outcome of patients with nosocomial candidaemia were monitored prospectively at National Taiwan University Hospital during 1994-2000. The MICs of fluconazole were determined by the disc diffusion method. There were 1095 episodes of nosocomial candidaemia during 1994-2000. Candida albicans was the most common species (50.4%), followed by Candida tropicalis (20.5%), Candida parapsilosis (14.2%) and Candida glabrata (12.0%). There were 0-2 isolates of Candida krusei per year. The incidence of nosocomial candidaemia and the proportion of C. glabrata peaked in 1996 and decreased thereafter. Fluconazole susceptibility was determined for 552 Candida blood isolates. Only 0.7% of blood isolates were resistant to fluconazole. Fluconazole susceptibility was 94.0% in 1994-1995 and 97.9% in 1999-2000 (P = 0.06). Attributable mortality for patients with nosocomial candidaemia was 43.2% in 1994-1995 and was 25% in 2000 (P = 0.005). Despite an increase in the incidence of nosocomial fungal infection and increased consumption of fluconazole from 1994 to 2000, there was no significant change in the susceptibility to fluconazole for bloodstream isolates of Candida species. These findings appear to be attributed to several factors. These include low prevalence of C. krusei and C. glabrata, changing patterns of use of antifungal drugs and broad-spectrum antibiotics, and efforts to improve the rational use of antifungal agents at our hospital.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candidiasis / blood*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Species Specificity
  • Taiwan
  • Time Factors


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fluconazole