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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2005 Feb;55(2):188-93. Epub 2005 Jan 13.

Candida krusei fungaemia: antifungal susceptibility and clinical presentation of an uncommon entity during 15 years in a single general hospital.

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Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Doctor Esquerdo 47, 28006 Madrid, Spain.



Candida krusei fungaemia is an uncommon entity described in immunocompromised patients previously exposed to azole agents.


From 1988 to 2003, 13 episodes of C. krusei fungaemia (2.3% of all fungaemias) were detected in our institution and compared with 39 Candida albicans controls. Susceptibility testing was carried out with the modified microdilution method according to NCCLS recommendations.


Underlying conditions were: HIV infection (4), haematological malignancies (4), organ transplantation (2), abdominal surgery (2) and lactose intolerance (1). Nine patients (69%) were not neutropenic. In comparison with C. albicans, patients with C. krusei infection had more commonly received antifungal agents (54% versus 15%, P = 0.006), had a haematological disease (31% versus 3%, P = 0.03), or a transplant (15% versus 3%, P = 0.08), were on corticosteroids (47% versus 13%, P = 0.01) and were neutropenic (31% versus 0%, P < 0.001). Patients with C. albicans had more surgical interventions (41% versus 15%, P = 0.09) and bladder catheters (61% versus 31%, P = 0.05). The most common origin for C. albicans was a catheter (41% versus 0%; P = 0.006) whereas for C. krusei the most common origin was unknown (69% versus 20%; P = 0.001). C. krusei presented more commonly with skin lesions in neutropenic patients (23% versus 5%; P = 0.05). Multivariate analysis of these differential characteristics showed that the only factor that independently predicted the presence of C. krusei fungaemia was the administration of antifungal agents before the fungaemia (RR: 6.4; P=0.009; 95%CI 1.6-25.99). Overall mortality of C. krusei fungaemia was 38% (C. albicans 49%). Except for voriconazole (MIC90 0.125 mg/L), azoles and 5-flucytosine had poor activity against C. krusei, whereas amphotericin (MIC90 1 mg/L) and LY-303366 (MIC90 0.06 mg/L) showed good activity.


C. krusei fungaemia incidence remains low despite widespread use of azoles. It may occur outside the setting of cancer patients with previous antifungal use. The presence of skin lesions should be a warning sign.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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