Introduction: Worldwide, Candida albicans is the most common Candida species implicated in bloodstream infections. However, the proportion of non-albicans bloodstream infections is increasing. Fluconazole resistance is known to be more common in non-albicans species, but is also reported in C. albicans. This retrospective study was performed to determine the species epidemiology of Candida bloodstream infections in Singapore hospitals, and to perform susceptibility testing to a range of antifungal drugs.Materials and Methods: Candida spp. isolated from bloodstream infections from October 2004 to December 2006 were collected from 3 participating hospitals: a tertiary referral hospital (Singapore General Hospital), a secondary referral hospital (Changi General Hospital) and an obstetrics/paediatric hospital [KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKWCH)]. Isolate collection was also retrospectively extended to January 2000 for KKWCH because of the limited number of cases from this hospital. Isolates were identified by a common protocol, and antifungal susceptibility testing was performed by microbroth dilution (Sensititre One, Trek Diagnostics, United Kingdom). Results: The most common isolates were C. albicans (37%), C. tropicalis (27%) and C. glabrata (16%). There were differences in species distribution between institutions, with C. parapsilosis and C. albicans predominant in KKWCH, and C. albicans and C. tropicalis predominant in the other 2 institutions. Fluconazole resistance was detected in 3.2% of all Candida spp., and 85.3% were classified as susceptible. All C. albicans and C. parapsilosis were susceptible to fluconazole and voriconazole, while susceptibility to fluconazole was much more variable for C. glabrata and C. krusei. Conclusion: This study shows that C. albicans remains the predominant Candida species isolated from bloodstream infections in the 3 participating hospitals. However, non-albicans species accounted for nearly two-thirds of all cases of candidaemia. Resistance to fluconazole was uncommon, and was generally confined to C. krusei and C. glabrata.
Nosocomial infection with Candida species is increasing in significance worldwide. A recent review of positive blood cultures noted the relative increase in importance of fungal bloodstream infections (BSI), and Candida was reported as the fourth most common blood stream pathogen in the United States.
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