Background: Candida spp. are increasingly important hospital-acquired pathogens in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and cause considerable mortality in preterm infants. Most studies have been limited to a single institution. The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiology of candidemia in all Barcelona NICUs.
Methods: We conducted prospective population-based surveillance for candidemia in Barcelona, Spain, during 2002–2003. This report focuses on the results from 5 participating hospitals with NICUs.
Results: We detected 24 cases, resulting in an annual incidence of 32.6 cases per 100,000 live births and 1.1 cases per 100 NICU discharges. Median gestational age was 27.5 weeks (range, 24–40.5), and there were 21 cases among very low birth weight infants. Among the 20 (83%) cases evaluated for the presence of end organ infection, endophthalmitis occurred in 2 cases, and endocarditis, meningitis and peritonitis occurred in 1 case each. Candida parapsilosis was the most frequent species isolated (67%). All isolates were fluconazole-susceptible. Crude mortality was 21%.
Conclusions: The preponderance of C. parapsilosis candidemias observed in Barcelona NICUs is similar to reports from the literature. Morbidity and mortality associated with neonatal candidemia remain high.