Background: The aim of the study was to investigate the Candida species distribution and their antifungal sensitivities, clinical characteristics, and risk factors of the critically ill patients with invasive Candida infections in a tertiary hospital.
Methods: Candida strains from critically ill patients were isolated in a tertiary hospital of Anhui Province from June 2019 to June 2020 through fungal cultures and identified with MALDI-TOF MS system. The antifungal susceptibility was measured by ATB Fungus-3 method. Demographic information and laboratory data were retrieved from the computerized hospital data system.
Results: Candida albicans (C. albicans, 41.49%) was the predominant species in sterile body sites of critically ill patients developing invasive candidiasis, followed by C. glabrata (24.47%) and C. tropicalis (20.21%). The specimen sources were mainly urine (47.87%), then bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (18.09%) and blood (14.89%). In vitro, common Candida species were observed to be highly sensitive to amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine. All C. albicans exhibited susceptibility to both fluconazole and voriconazole, as did C. glabrata and C. parapsilosis. However, some C. tropicalis identified were frequently resistant to fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole. The rate of Candida infection was positively correlated with certain risk factors including invasive interventions, age, length of stay in hospital, etc.
Conclusions: C. albicans was the main species of invasive Candida infections in critically ill patients, followed by C. glabrata and C. tropicalis. Candida spp. showed the highest rate (10.60%) of resistance to fluconazole, followed by itraconazole (5.30%), voriconazole (5.30%), and 5-fluorocytosine (1.10%). All invasive Candida isolates were sensitive to amphotericin B. In addition, several C. tropicalis were tested and exhibited a high-level resistance to azoles. Notably, a variety of specific risk factors for candidiasis were identified in critically ill patients which need to be taken into consideration.