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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1999 Apr;33(4):217-22.

Trends in species distribution and susceptibility to fluconazole among blood stream isolates of Candida species in the United States.

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Department of Pathology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


National surveillance of blood stream infections (BSI) attributable to Candida spp. has been limited to date. Recent studies have suggested in increase in the proportion of BSI attributable to non-Candida albicans species and have also raised concerns regarding the emergence of antifungal resistance among Candida spp. The increased utilization of broad-spectrum antifungal agents and the recognition of Candida spp. as prominent pathogens with the potential for developing antifungal resistance, emphasize the need for ongoing surveillance of antifungal susceptibility patterns. In this investigation trends in species distribution and susceptibility to fluconazole among BSI isolates of Candida spp. referred to our laboratory by United States hospitals were evaluated over the 7-year period from 1992 to 1998. A total of 1579 BSI isolates from more than 50 medical centers were processed. Overall, C. albicans accounted for 52% of isolates followed by C. glabrata (18%), C. parapsilosis (15%), C. tropicalis (11%), and C. krusei (2%). The proportion of BSI isolates that were C. albicans ranged from 45% in 1992 to 60% in 1998. Among the non-C. albicans isolates, C. glabrata succeeded C. parapsilosis as the most common species beginning in 1995. Overall, the susceptibility of all Candida species (C. albicans plus all other species) to fluconazole remained stable (MIC90, 16 micrograms/mL). The fluconazole MIC90 for C. albicans was 0.5-2.0 micrograms/ml for all years studied except 1995 (8.0 micrograms/mL) and was 1.0 microgram/mL overall. The present study suggests a continued prominent role of C. albicans as a cause of BSI, and a constant level of susceptibility of Candida BSI isolates to fluconazole over 7 years. These data should serve as a baseline for future surveillance efforts for anti-fungal agents tested against yeast BSI isolates.

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