Background: Despite the frequency of vaginal yeast colonization, serious candidiasis infections in pregnant patients or neonates remain rare. Four cases of disseminated congenital candidiasis in very preterm infants are reported.
Case reports: Congenital Candida albicans infection has been diagnosed in four very preterm infants. In three cases, the mothers had intrauterine devices in place throughout pregnancy. A careful macroscopic examination of the umbilical cord and placenta after birth has allowed an early management strategy in three cases. In all cases, a serious infectious alveolitis occurred. A pronounced increase in white blood cells (> 50,000/mm3) and high levels of both segmented neutrophil and band cells, despite the frequent normality of the CRP, constituted other features. Infection was controlled by parenteral amphotericin B or fluconazole. In one case, serious thrombocytopenia occurred after the first amphotericin B injection requiring substitution for fluconazole. The outcome was unfavourable in two cases with an extensive periventricular leukomalacia.
Conclusion: Congenital candidiasis in these four very preterm neonates has several features in common: intrauterine contraceptive device during pregnancy, characteristic chorioamnionitis and funisitis, high WBC count, infectious alveolitis. Fluconazole as alternative to amphotericine B therapy is proposed.