|Candida species are commonly found on the skin, digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts of humans. Candida can cause both localized infections (such as those commonly seen in the mouth or reproductive organs) or life threatening systemic infections spread through the bloodstream.|
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About 30 to 50% of invasive Candida infections are fatal. In the USA, Candida causes about 25,000 bloodstream infections per year and is responsible for about 10,000 yearly deaths. Invasive Candida infections are common in many areas throughout both the developing and developed world.
People at increased risk for invasive Candida infections include those on long courses of antibiotic or steroid drugs (such as prednisone or birth control pills), many forms of cancer, diabetes, premature babies, neutropenia patients (low white blood cell count), patients with intravenous catheters, kidney failure or hemodialysis, major surgery, mechanical ventilation, HIV, and organ/bone transplant patients on immunosuppressive drugs.
Traditionally, Candida albicans has been the species causing most human invasive infections. However, since about 2000, about half of all reported invasive Candida infections have been due to non albicans species such as Candida tropicalis, C. parasilosis, C. glabrata, C. guilliermondii, and C. krusei. Many Candida strains are developing resistance to the azole drugs like fluconazole. Resistance has also developing in a few Candida strains (especially C. parasilosis and C. guilliermondii) for the new echinocandin drugs such as anidulafungin, caspofungin, and micafungin. Early diagnosis is critical for preventing Candida related mortality.
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