Observational study on candidaemia at a university hospital in southern Italy from 1998 to 2004

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SummaryIn an observational study on candidaemia in hospitalised patients, conducted in a southern Italy hospital during 1998–2004, 155 cases were noted. Candida albicans (CA) was isolated in 71 (45.8%) cases involving mainly patients recovered in ICU, General Surgery and Neonatology. Candida non-albicans (CnA) species were isolated by 84 (54.2%) candidaemic patients, and in particular, Candida parapsilosis was the most frequent species isolated in Pediatric Oncology. 91.6% of the patients had a central venous catheter and only 46.4% were receiving antifungal prophylaxis. Among these patients, 87.5% (63) developed CnA infections; in particular, 41 patients had a C. parapsilosis bloodstream infection. During our study, we observed a variable drift from 1998 to 2003; we registered an evident increment of CnA candidaemia (76.9%) and a decrease of CA cases (23%) only in 2004. The mortality was 26.7%, and we observed that CA was associated with the highest rate of mortality (53.6%). Although Candida infections are correlated primarily with risk factors, their resolution depends on timely diagnosis and early therapy.

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