Emergence of fluconazole resistance in a Candida parapsilosis strain that caused infections in a neonatal intensive care unit

Emmi Sarvikivi, Outi Lyytikäinen, David R Soll, Claude Pujol, Michael A Pfaller, Malcolm Richardson, Pirkko Koukila-Kähkölä, Päivi Luukkainen, Harri Saxén
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2005, 43 (6): 2729-35
Candida parapsilosis is an increasing cause of bloodstream infections (BSIs) in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). It has been a persistent problem in the NICU of Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland, since 1987. Fluconazole prophylaxis has been used to control the problem. The number of new infections has, however, increased markedly since September 2000. We assessed fluconazole consumption and occurrence of all Candida species in the NICU from 1991 to 2002. C. parapsilosis bloodstream isolates obtained in the NICU from 1990 to 2002 (n = 26) were genotyped and their fluconazole susceptibility was defined. A low rate of C. parapsilosis BSIs was correlated with high rates of consumption of fluconazole. No emergence of Candida species with primary resistance to fluconazole was detected. However, genotyping with a complex DNA fingerprinting probe revealed that a single strain of C. parapsilosis with decreasing susceptibility to fluconazole was responsible for cross-infections that caused BSIs in the NICU over a 12-year period. The emergence of fluconazole resistance in that strain was observed after more than 10 years of fluconazole prophylaxis.

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