Distribution and epidemiology of Candida species causing fungemia at a Saudi Arabian hospital, 1996-2004

Int J Infect Dis. 2007 May;11(3):239-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2006.03.003. Epub 2006 Jul 21.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the Candida species and the change over time in the organisms causing candidemia at Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organization in Saudi Arabia. We also describe the risk factors associated with mortality.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of candidemia over nine years (1996-2004).

Results: A total of 98 distinct episodes of candidemia were identified over the study period. The annual incidence of candidemia ranged between 0.2 and 0.76 cases/1000 hospital discharges with an incidence per 10 000 patient-days per year of 0.45 to 1.6. The most frequent Candida species were Candida albicans (53%), Candida tropicalis (19%), Candida parapsilosis (16%), and Candida glabrata (7%). In relation to predisposing factors, 83% of candidemia occurred in patients with central venous catheters and 96% had received broad-spectrum antibiotics. Other predisposing factors included complicated abdominal surgeries (22%), total parenteral nutrition (52%), neutropenia (9%), acute renal failure (24%), malignancy (26%) and burns (15%). However, prior fluconazole use was low (8%). The overall crude mortality rate was 43% for all candidemia. Logistic regression analysis identified two independent determinants of death, C. albicans (OR 5.91, 95% CI 1.50, 23.24, p=0.01) and acute renal failure (OR 5.15, 95% CI 1.18, 22.55, p=0.03).

Conclusion: The study showed that the rate of candidemia was low in our hospital and that C. albicans was the major species followed by C. tropicalis and C. parapsilosis. Future studies are needed to evaluate the antifungal susceptibility pattern in our hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Candida / classification
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Candidiasis / mortality
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fungemia / epidemiology*
  • Fungemia / microbiology
  • Fungemia / mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology