A prospective multicenter study was conducted to assess the epidemiology of neonatal invasive candidiasis in Spain. In a total of 20,565 admissions to the 27 participating neonatal units over an 18-month period, systemic candidiasis was diagnosed in 118 (0.57%) neonates. Candida species were isolated from the blood in 79 infants, from the urine in 33, and from the cerebrospinal fluid in 4; in 2 cases, histologic evidence of deep tissue candidiasis was found at autopsy. Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants (< or = 1500 g) showed a significantly higher incidence of systemic candidiasis (4.8%) than infants weighing > 1500 g (0.2%) ( p < 0.001). Candida albicans was the most frequent species (52.5%) followed by C. parapsilosis (23.7%), and C. tropicalis (7.6%). Only seven infants were treated with amphotericin B (initial dose 0.18 +/- 0.3 mg/kg, maximal daily dose 1.7 +/- 0.9 mg/kg) but treatment was stopped in three of them (43%) due to nephrotoxicity. Liposomal amphotericin B was given to 81 neonates and amphotericin B lipid complex to 29. There were no differences in mortality rate and in the incidence of adverse effects in relation to treatment with liposomal amphotericin B or amphotericin B lipid complex. The mortality rate was 10.2% and all deaths occurred in the VLBW cohort with candidemia.