RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Candidemia in neonatal intensive care units: Barcelona, Spain.

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.

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