Changing epidemiology and risk factors for candidemia in critically ill patients



Candidemia, epidemiology, intensive care unit, risk factors


Background/Aim: Candidemia is a common cause of bloodstream infections in critically ill patients, resulting in high mortality and morbidity. This retrospective case-control study was designed to identify epidemiological characteristics and risk factors for candidemia in an intensive care unit. Methods: A total of 166 patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit between January 2013 and December 2017 were included in this case-control study. Candidemia was defined as at least one positive blood culture for Candida spp. with fever or other clinical findings consistent with infection. Patients who acquired candidemia more than 48 hours after admission represented the case group (n=83). Control group (n=83) consisted of case-matching patients who were hospitalized during the same period and did not develop candidemia. Results: In the candidemia group Candida albicans (57.8%) was the most common species, followed by Candida glabrata (13.3%) and Candida parapsilosis (12%). The rate of C. albicans decreased from 69.2% to 50% during the five-year study period. Out of 83 candidemia infections, 36 (43.4%) were associated with central venous catheters. C. parapsilosis had an increasing rate in parallel with central venous catheter-associated candidemia rates. When comparing cases and controls, in univariate analysis, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, blood transfusion, central venous catheter placement, intubation, gastrointestinal surgery and total parenteral nutrition were significantly more common in the candidemia group (P<0.05 for each). The rate of the patients whose Candida scores were higher or equal to 3, was significantly higher in candidemia group (P=0.03). According to the multivariate analysis, SOFA scores (P<0.001, OR:1.25, 95% CI:1.15-1.37), gastrointestinal surgery (P=0.03, OR:2.60, 95% CI:1.10-6.12), central venous catheter (P=0.04, OR:2.62, 95% CI:1.05-6.57) and total parenteral nutrition (P=0.02, OR:2.61, 95% CI:1.12-6.06) were independent risk factors for candidemia, while enteral feeding (P=0.02, OR:0.27, 95% CI:0.09-0.80) was protective against. Conclusion: The result of our study is an evidence of the changing epidemiology of candidemia, which showed a shift towards non-albicans Candida spp. over the years. The increasing rate of C. parapsilosis and central venous catheter-associated candidemia has highlighted the need for more attention to the central line care and hand hygiene. Our study also revealed that critically ill patients with high SOFA score, gastrointestinal surgery, central venous catheter, and total parenteral nutrition have an elevated risk for developing candidemia. Unless necessary, limitation of total parenteral nutrition, and ensuring the earlier implementation of enteral feeding may be protective from candidemia.


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Yeşilbağ Z, Tekdöş Şeker Y, Avcı K, Şenoğlu S, Çukurova Z, Hergünsel GO. Changing epidemiology and risk factors for candidemia in critically ill patients. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2021 Jan. 1 [cited 2024 Apr. 13];5(1):97-102. Available from: