Severe Candida Infections Increasing In Recent Years

Candida are a genus of fungi (yeasts) which frequently colonize the skin, digestive tract, and urogenital tracts of humans. While low level Candida colonization may not do serious harm, invasive bloodstream Candida infections can be life threatening. 
Laura Milazzo et al. Candidaemia observed at a university hospital in Milan (northern Italy) and review of published studies from 2010 to 2014. Mycopathologica 2014; In Press

Invasive Candida infections (candidemia) are especially common among immunocompromised patients (such as those with HIV or taking immunosuppressive drugs for blood or bone transplants), cancer patients, diabetics, and malnourished patients. Repeated courses of antibiotics, steroid medicines, and a high sugar diet can also increase risk for invasive Candida infections.

Many countries are reporting significant increases in invasive Candida infections in recent years. A study in a Northern Italian hospital reported that rates of invasive Candida bloodstream infections rose from 0.4 cases/ 10,000 patient days in 2008 to 1.68 cases/ 10,000 patient days in 2014 (very statistically significant p=0.0001). The most common species of Candida causing bloodstream infections were C. albicans (64%) and C. glabrata (19%). Forty two percent of the candidemia patients (37 out of 89 patients) in the Italian hospital died.


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