Candidemia in Brazilian neonatal intensive care units: risk factors, epidemiology, and antifungal resistance

Braz J Microbiol. 2023 Jun;54(2):817-825. doi: 10.1007/s42770-023-00943-1. Epub 2023 Mar 9.


Candidemia is responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units and represents a challenge due to the complexity of hospitalized neonates, the deficiency in approved and precise diagnostic techniques, and the increasing number of species resistant to antifungal agents. Thus, the objective of this study was to detect candidemia among neonates evaluating the risk factors, epidemiology, and antifungal susceptibility. Blood samples were obtained from neonates with suspected septicemia, and the mycological diagnosis was based on yeast growth in culture. The fungal taxonomy was based on classic identification, automated system, and proteomic, when necessary molecular tools were used. The in vitro susceptibility tests were performed according to the broth microdilution method from Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Statistical analysis was performed using the R software version R-4.2.2. The prevalence of neonatal candidemia was 10.97%. The major risk factors involved were previous use of parenteral nutrition, exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics, prematurity, and prior use central venous catheter, but only this last was statistically associated with mortality risk. Species from Candida parapsilosis complex and C. albicans were the most frequent. All isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B, except C. haemulonii that also exhibited elevated MICs to fluconazole. C. parapsilosis complex and C. glabrata exhibit the highest MICs to echinocandins. Considering these data, we emphasize that an effective management strategy to reduce the impact of neonatal candidemia should involve the knowledge of risk factors, rapid and precise mycological diagnostic, and tests of antifungal susceptibility to help in the selection of an appropriate treatment.

Keywords: Antifungal resistance; Candidemia; Fungal infection; Neonates.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Candida
  • Candida albicans
  • Candida glabrata
  • Candida parapsilosis
  • Candidemia* / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal
  • Fluconazole
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Proteomics
  • Risk Factors


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fluconazole