Candida tropicalis-A systematic review to inform the World Health Organization of a fungal priority pathogens list

Med Mycol. 2024 Jun 27;62(6):myae040. doi: 10.1093/mmy/myae040.


In response to the growing global burden of fungal infections with uncertain impact, the World Health Organization (WHO) established an Expert Group to identify priority fungal pathogens and establish the WHO Fungal Priority Pathogens List for future research. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the features and global impact of invasive candidiasis caused by Candida tropicalis. PubMed and Web of Science were searched for studies reporting on criteria of mortality, morbidity (defined as hospitalization and disability), drug resistance, preventability, yearly incidence, diagnostics, treatability, and distribution/emergence from 2011 to 2021. Thirty studies, encompassing 436 patients from 25 countries were included in the analysis. All-cause mortality due to invasive C. tropicalis infections was 55%-60%. Resistance rates to fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole up to 40%-80% were observed but C. tropicalis isolates showed low resistance rates to the echinocandins (0%-1%), amphotericin B (0%), and flucytosine (0%-4%). Leukaemia (odds ratio (OR) = 4.77) and chronic lung disease (OR = 2.62) were identified as risk factors for invasive infections. Incidence rates highlight the geographic variability and provide valuable context for understanding the global burden of C. tropicalis infections. C. tropicalis candidiasis is associated with high mortality rates and high rates of resistance to triazoles. To address this emerging threat, concerted efforts are needed to develop novel antifungal agents and therapeutic approaches tailored to C. tropicalis infections. Global surveillance studies could better inform the annual incidence rates, distribution and trends and allow informed evaluation of the global impact of C. tropicalis infections.

Keywords: Candida tropicalis; candidaemia; global epidemiology; invasive fungal infection; mortality.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Candida tropicalis* / drug effects
  • Candida tropicalis* / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / epidemiology
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / microbiology
  • Candidiasis, Invasive / mortality
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors
  • World Health Organization*


  • Antifungal Agents