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J Hosp Infect. 2001 Jul;48(3):193-7.

Low rate of Candida parapsilosis-related colonization and infection in hospitalized preterm infants: a one-year prospective study.

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Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital, 29609 Brest, France.


We determined the rate of Candida parapsilosis colonization in preterm neonates (NN) and the relationship between colonization and systemic infection through a prospective study in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a university hospital. All NN born at a gestational age of 32 weeks or less were included. Specimens from rectum, mouth and retro-auricular skin were obtained at admission and weekly thereafter. All samples were inoculated on to Sabouraud agar, CHROMagar and Dixon media. Candida species were identified using API Candida and API 20C. DNA analysis was performed using pulse field gel electrophoresis.Fifty-four patients were included (mean age: 30 +/- 1.5 weeks; mean birthweight: 1347 +/- 301 g; male: 40%). Fungal colonization was detected in 43 (79.6%). Causative agents were C. parapsilosis (N= 7);Malassezia furfur (N= 30);C. albicans (N= 21), C. guillermondii (N= 1). No sample was positive for two different yeasts at the same time. C. parapsilosis colonization included anal (N= 6), buccal (N= 1), and skin (N= 2). The average age at time of colonization was 17.8+/-9.8 days. Neither fungal septicaemia nor death were observed in colonized infants. Two central venous catheters were found to be colonized, one with C. parapsilosis and one with M. furfur. Logistic regression showed a link between colonization and gestational age alone. Three different DNA profiles were observed. This study suggests that in our units, the occurrence of C. parapsilosis colonization is low and bears no relation to systemic infection. The systematic identification of C. parapsilosis carriers for the purposes of isolation and preventive treatment does not appear to be warranted.

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