About Invasive Candidiasis

What is invasive candidiasis?

Medical illustration of fluconazole-resistant Candida

Medical illustration of Candida albicans.

Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida.  Unlike Candida infections in the mouth and throat (also called “thrush”) or vaginal “yeast infections,” which are localized to one part of the body,  invasive candidiasis is a serious infection that can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, or other parts of the body.1

Candida normally lives inside the body (in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina) and on the skin without causing any problems.2 However, in certain patients who are at risk, Candida can enter the bloodstream or internal organs and cause an infection. A Candida bloodstream infection, also called candidemia, is the most common form of invasive candidiasis.1 In the United States, candidemia is one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients,34 and it often results in long hospital stays and death. It is also responsible for high medical costs.5

Antifungal medication can treat invasive candidiasis. Certain patients such as those with cancer or bone marrow or organ transplants might receive antifungal medication to prevent invasive candidiasis.6

  1. Kullberg BJ, Arendrup MC. Invasive candidiasisexternal icon. N Engl J Med 2015; 373:1445-1456.
  2. Nucci M, Anaissie E. Revisiting the source of candidemia: skin or gut?external icon Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Dec 15;33(12):1959-67.
  3. Wisplinghoff H, Bischoff T, Tallent SM, Seifert H, Wenzel RP, Edmond MB. Nosocomial bloodstream infections in US hospitals: analysis of 24,179 cases from a prospective nationwide surveillance studyexternal icon. Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 1;39(3):309-17.
  4. Magill SS, O’Leary E, Janelle S, Thompson DL, Dumyati G, Nadle J, et al. Changes in prevalence of health care–associated infections in U.S. hospitalsexternal icon. N Engl J Med 2018; 379:1732-44.
  5. Morgan J, Meltzer MI, Plikaytis BD, Sofair AN, Huie-White S, Wilcox S, et al. Excess mortality, hospital stay, and cost due to candidemia: a case-control study using data from population-based candidemia surveillanceexternal icon. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2005 Jun;26(6):540-7.
  6. Pappas PG, Kauffman CA, Andes DR, Clark CJ, Marr KA, Ostrosky-Zeichner L, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the management of candidiasis: 2016 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of Americaexternal icon. Clin Infect Dis 2016;62:e1-50.