Neonatal candidemia leads to high morbidity and mortality in developing countries. We studied the trends, spectrum and antifungal resistance in neonatal candidemia isolates from the year 2014 to 2019.
This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan. Neonates with positive blood cultures with Candida species were retrospectively identified from the laboratory database (2014–2018) and prospectively in 2019 where clinical information was also collected as part of routine laboratory reporting.
We identified 669 neonates with Candida species in blood cultures. Three hundred forty-six neonates had early-onset disease (EOD age ≤7 days) and 323 had late-onset disease (LOD age >7 days). Non-albicans Candida species (86.7%) were predominant versus C. albicans (13.3%; P-value 0.024) with Candida tropicalis being most common in both EOD and LOD. Candida pelliculosa and Candida guilliermondii were associated with EOD and C. albicans with LOD. Isolation of fluconazole nonsusceptible non-albicans Candida species was significantly higher in early-onset (5.9%) versus late-onset (2%) neonatal candidemia (P-value 0.005; crude odds ratio [COR] 2.73, 95% CI: 1.34–5.53). LOD in neonates was more likely associated with the use of vancomycin (COR 3.89, 95% CI: 1.39–10.89). EOD was more likely seen in patients with vaginal delivery (COR 4.16, 95% CI: 1.42–12.23) and in neonates with respiratory distress leading to intensive care unit admission (COR 3.31, 95% CI: 1.05–10.42).
Non-albicans Candida species were increasingly isolated from neonates with candidemia during recent years from Pakistan. Amphotericin remains first-line option for neonatal candidemia in our setting as fluconazole nonsusceptible Candida species are commonly isolated.