Overview of the changing epidemiology of candidemia

Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 Jul;25(7):1732-40. doi: 10.1185/03007990902990817.


Candida spp. are currently the fourth most common cause of bloodstream infections in US hospitals, and the third most common cause of bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit. Over the last 2 decades there has been a shift towards a greater involvement of non-Candida albicans spp. as the cause of candidemia. Several of these non-albicans spp. (e.g., C. glabrata and C. krusei ) exhibit resistance to traditional triazole antifungals like fluconazole, and cross-resistance with newer triazoles, focusing attention on the first-line use of antifungals such as the echinocandins, which possess improved activity against fluconazole-resistant strains. Recent treatment guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) recommend an echinocandin as primary therapy for nonneutropenic or neutropenic patients with moderately severe to severe candidiasis and for patients at risk for infection with a triazole-resistant strain. However, further improvement in candidemia-associated mortality will only be attainable with the development and validation of new diagnostic tools that will allow earlier detection, discrimination, and treatment of invasive candidiasis. Clinicians should remain vigilant to wider emergence of Candida spp. with echinocandin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis / mortality
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology*
  • Candidiasis / etiology
  • Candidiasis / mortality
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal / physiology
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors