High incidence of Candida parapsilosis candidaemia in non-neutropenic critically ill patients: epidemiology and antifungal susceptibility

Scand J Infect Dis. 2010;42(2):114-20. doi: 10.3109/00365540903321572.


The epidemiological and antifungal susceptibility data for 35 episodes of candidemia in intensive care units (ICU) in 2007 were evaluated by prospective active surveillance. The incidence of fungaemia was 39.1 cases per 1000 ICU admissions and 2.85 cases per 1000 patient-days. The crude mortality was 65.7%; 70.8% of the fatalities occurred within 7 days of admission to the ICU. Only 2 species were isolated, Candida parapsilosis (77.1%) and Candida albicans (22.9%). There was no association between mortality and patient characteristics, prior antifungal usage, Candida subspecies or antifungal resistance (p > 0.05). Of the isolates, 5.7% were resistant to fluconazole and caspofungin, and 3.4% to voriconazole and amphotericin B. In molecular analysis of the isolates, 2 clusters of C. parapsilosis in the neurology and anaesthesiology ICUs were detected by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), suggesting a nosocomial transmission. In conclusion, a high incidence and high mortality rate of C. parapsilosis candidaemia were found in the ICUs. An excessive use of invasive procedures, total parenteral nutrition and broad-spectrum antibiotics in the ICUs, combined with a lack of proper infection control measures, may possibly explain the high incidence of C. parapsilosis candidaemia in our hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology*
  • Candidiasis / mortality
  • Critical Illness
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal
  • Female
  • Fungemia / epidemiology*
  • Fungemia / microbiology*
  • Fungemia / mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antifungal Agents