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Open Access Research article

Surveillance study of species distribution, antifungal susceptibility and mortality of nosocomial candidemia in a tertiary care hospital in China

Chun-fang Ma1, Fang-qiu Li12*, Li-ning Shi1, Yu-an Hu1, Ying Wang1, Mei Huang1 and Qian-qian Kong1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, PR China

2 Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jinling Hospital, 305 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210002, P. R. China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:337  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-337

Published: 22 July 2013



Bloodstream infections due to Candida species cause significant morbidity and mortality, and the epidemiology of Candida infection is changing. Surveillance for candidemia is necessary to detect trends in species distribution and antifungal resistance.


The medical and electronic records of all patients who had candidemia at the authors’ hospital from 2009 to 2011 were reviewed for demographic data and clinical information, including the infecting Candida species, resistance to antifungals and survival, and the presence of risk factors associated with candidemia.


A total of 133 distinct episodes of candidemia were identified over the study period. The annual incidence of candidemia ranged between 0.71 and 0.85 cases/1000 hospital discharges. The most frequent Candida species were C. tropicalis (28.6%), followed by C. albicans (23.3%) and C. parapsilosis (19.5%). The rates of susceptibility to antifungal agents were as followed: voriconazole (97.8%), itraconazole (69.5%), fluconazole (46.1%), ketoconazole (38.9%). Out of 131 evaluable patients, 34 (26.0%) died within 30 days from the onset of candidemia. C. tropicalis candidemia was associated with the highest mortality rate (44.7%). Regarding the crude mortality in the different units, patients in Hemato-Oncology ward had the highest mortality rate (66.7%), followed by patients in cardiovascular wards and ICU (57.1% and 25.6%, respectively). Predictors of 30-day mortality were identified by uni- and multivariate analyses. Complicated abdominal surgery, presence of central venous catheter (CVC), neutropenia, candidemia due to C. tropicalis and poor treatment with fluconazole were significantly associated with the 30-day mortality. Presence of CVC (odds ratio[OR] = 4.177; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.698 to 10.278; P = 0.002) was the only independent predictor for mortality in the multivariate analysis.


This report provides baseline data for future epidemiological and susceptibility studies and for the mortality rates associated with candidemia in our hospital. The knowledge of the local epidemiological trends in Candida species isolated in blood cultures is important to guide therapeutic choices.

Nosocomial candidemia; Antifungal susceptibility; Mortality; Risk factors