Neonatal Candida Parapsilosis Outbreak With a High Case Fatality Rate

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1995 Sep;14(9):776-81. doi: 10.1097/00006454-199509000-00009.


A Candida parapsilosis outbreak of 58 cases in a neonatal intensive care unit lasted for 55 months. Patients infected by or colonized with C. parapsilosis were mainly very low birth weight infants (birth weight < 1500 g). Their mean birth weight was 817 g and their mean gestational age was 28 weeks. Statistical analysis including logistic regression confirmed that prematurity was the main risk factor. The analysis also suggested that C. parapsilosis infection (or colonization) was associated with a poor prognosis. In infants with gestational age < 29 weeks the risk for death in C. parapsilosis-infected patients was 16-fold greater than in those with no C. parapsilosis infection. The case fatality rate of C. parapsilosis patients was higher than that of the controls (9 of 23 vs. 1 of 40; P < 0.0001). The outbreak was most likely a result of cross-infection because C. parapsilosis could be isolated only from the patients and from the hands of four nurses immediately after they had cared for a colonized patient. Cessation of the outbreak was temporally associated with long term parenteral fluconazole (6 mg/kg/day) prophylaxis.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology*
  • Candidiasis / mortality
  • Candidiasis / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / mortality
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fluconazole