Background: Candidemia remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the health care setting, and the epidemiology of Candida infection is changing.
Methods: Clinical data from patients with candidemia were extracted from the Prospective Antifungal Therapy (PATH) Alliance database, a comprehensive registry that collects information regarding invasive fungal infections. A total of 2019 patients, enrolled from 1 July 2004 through 5 March 2008, were identified. Data regarding the candidemia episode were analyzed, including the specific fungal species and patient survival at 12 weeks after diagnosis.
Results: The incidence of candidemia caused by non-Candida albicans Candida species (54.4%) was higher than the incidence of candidemia caused by C. albicans (45.6%). The overall, crude 12-week mortality rate was 35.2%. Patients with Candida parapsilosis candidemia had the lowest mortality rate (23.7%; P<.001) and were less likely to be neutropenic (5.1%; P<.001) and to receive corticosteroids (33.5%; P<.001) or other immunosuppressive drugs (7.9%; P=.002), compared with patients infected with other Candida species. Candida krusei candidemia was most commonly associated with prior use of antifungal agents (70.6%; P<.001), hematologic malignancy (52.9%; P<.001) or stem cell transplantation (17.7%; P<.001), neutropenia (45.1%; P<.001), and corticosteroid treatment (60.8%; P<.001). Patients with C. krusei candidemia had the highest crude 12-week mortality in this series (52.9%; P<.001). Fluconazole was the most commonly administered antimicrobial, followed by the echinocandins, and amphotericin B products were infrequently administered.
Conclusions: The epidemiology and choice of therapy for candidemia are rapidly changing. Additional study is warranted to differentiate host factors and differences in virulence among Candida species and to determine the best therapeutic regimen.