Neonatal candidiasis: clinical spectrum and epidemiology in a tertiary care centre


  • Bhavana Koppad Department of Pediatrics, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
  • Kulkarni Poornima Prakash Department of Pediatrics, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India



Candida albicans, Neonatal candidiasis, NICU


Background: Candidial infections are a serious problem in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) which increases the mortality and morbidity in addition to increasing health care costs. Confirming the diagnosis by laboratory tests is difficult and a high index of suspicion is required. The objective of this study was to identify the clinical spectrum and epidemiology of neonatal candidiasis in a tertiary care NICU.

Methods: The present study was carried out in the NICU of SDM medical college and hospital, Dharwad. All babies who were admitted to NICU and who had positive blood culture for Candida were included in the study. One year Data (1st December 2015 to 31st November 2016) was collected retrospectively from NICU case records. Statistical test used was chi square test.

Results: Total admissions to the NICU during the study period were 2591. Blood cultures were positive in 132 babies. Among these, Candidial sepsis was noted in 39.39% (52) babies. Out of the 52 positive fungal cultures, 15 were Candida albicans, 35 were Candida non albicans and 2 were mixed cultures (Candida albicans and non albicans) showing an increasing incidence of non-albicans Candida infections. Among the non albicans Candida, Candida tropicalis and Candida guilliermondii were the predominant species (11 each) followed by Candida famata (6), Candida krusei (6) and Candida parapsilosis (3). Candidial sepsis was seen to be more common among preterm and low birth weight babies. Usage of antibiotics, Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and mechanical ventilation were common risk factors noted in our study.

Conclusions: Systemic Candidiasis is a disease of modern neonatal intensive care. It deserves urgent attention for its prevention as well as effective treatment in order to minimize neonatal morbidity and mortality.


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