Invasive Candidiasis Statistics

How common is invasive candidiasis?

Candidemia is one of the most common bloodstream infections in the United States.1 During 2013–2017, the average incidence was approximately 9 per 100,000 people; however, this number varies substantially by geographic location and patient population. CDC estimates that approximately 25,000 cases of candidemia occur nationwide each year.2

Though it is the most common form of recognized invasive candidiasis, candidemia does not represent all forms of invasive candidiasis because the infection can occur in the heart, kidney, bones, and other internal organs without being detected in the blood. In fact, the true burden of invasive candidiasis might be twice as high as the estimate for candidemia.

HAIC Viz Logo

HAIC Viz is an interactive tool that displays trends in incidence, outcomes, species distribution, and resistance patterns using candidemia data collected through the Emerging Infections Program (EIP).

Public health surveillance for candidemia in the United States

Since 2008, CDC has performed ongoing, active population-based surveillance for Candida bloodstream infections (candidemia) through the Emerging Infections Program (EIP), a network of 10 state health departments and their collaborators in local health departments, academic institutions, other federal agencies, public health and clinical laboratories, and healthcare facilities.

Active, population-based surveillance for candidemia is being conducted in 10 EIP sites: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee (Figure 1). CDC and its partners recruit laboratories and hospitals serving the counties under surveillance to submit reports of candidemia in patients within the surveillance area.

Learn more about methods used for CDC’s candidemia surveillance through EIP.

Map where candidemia surveillance is being conducted

Figure 1. Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites where candidemia surveillance is being conducted; dark green represents counties under surveillance at each EIP site.

Through this program, CDC monitors epidemiologic trends in candidemia and performs species confirmation and antifungal susceptibility testing on all available Candida bloodstream isolates to meet these public health needs:

  • Track incidence of candidemia and estimate the total burden
  • Identify new risk factors for candidemia
  • Detect the emergence and spread of antifungal resistance
  • Understand and describe specific genetic mutations associated with resistance
  • Identify areas where candidemia prevention and intervention strategies can be focused

CDC also collects data on healthcare-associated infections, including central line-associated Candida infections through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the largest healthcare-associated infection reporting system in the United States.

Candidemia trends in the United States

Candidemia incidence declined during 2008–2013 and then stabilized at approximately 9 cases per 100,000 population during 2013—2017.3,4 Although there are notable differences by site, overall candidemia incidence declined. It is possible that the observed declines in candidemia during 2008–2013 are related to healthcare delivery improvements such as those involving catheter care and maintenance.3 Increases in incidence in certain surveillance areas may be due to increases in the number of candidemia cases related to injection drug use, which has recently been re-emerging as a risk factor for candidemia.5-7

Demographic trends

There have been important changes in the rates of candidemia by age group. Rates have decreased significantly in infants, but remain high compared with other age groups.8,9 The reasons for the decline in candidemia rates in infants are not fully understood but might be related to factors such as fluconazole prophylaxis in high-risk pre-term babies or improved infection control practices, such as hand hygiene and catheter care. Among all ages, candidemia rates are approximately twice as high in Black people as in non-Black people. The reasons for the differences in incidence by race may have to do with differences in underlying conditions, socioeconomic status, or other factors.

Learn more about candidemia incidence rates by age group and race.

Trends in species distribution

Up to 95% of all invasive Candida infections in the United States are caused by five species of Candida: C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, and C. krusei. The proportion of infections caused by each species varies by geographic region and by patient population.10 Although C. albicans is still the leading cause of candidemia in the United States, increasing proportions of cases in recent years have been attributed to non-albicans species that are often resistant to antifungal drugs.11-13 Altogether, non-C. albicans species cause approximately two-thirds of candidemia cases in the United States.3,11 In some locations, C. glabrata is the most common species. Since 2015, an emerging species called C. auris has been an increasing cause of invasive Candida infections in United States.14

Learn more about Candida species distribution.

Trends in antifungal resistance

Some types of Candida are increasingly resistant to the first-line and second-line antifungal medications, such as fluconazole and the echinocandins (anidulafungin, caspofungin, and micafungin). About 7% of all Candida bloodstream isolates tested at CDC are resistant to fluconazole. More than 70% of these resistant isolates are the species C. glabrata or C. krusei.11,15 CDC’s surveillance data indicate that the proportion of Candida isolates that are resistant to fluconazole has remained fairly constant over the past 20 years.11,16,17 Echinocandin resistance, however, appears to be emerging, especially among C. glabrata isolates. Approximately 3% of C. glabrata isolates are resistant to echinocandins, but the percentage may be higher in some hospitals. This is especially concerning because echinocandins are the first-line treatment for C. glabrata, which already has high levels of resistance to fluconazole.15

Learn more about trends in antifungal resistance in Candida spp. isolates.

Deaths due to invasive candidiasis

Invasive Candida infections are often associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, as well as increases in cost and length of hospital stay. CDC’s surveillance data indicate that the in-hospital all-cause (crude) mortality among people with candidemia is approximately 25%. However, because people who develop invasive candidiasis are typically already sick with other medical conditions, it can be difficult to determine the proportion of deaths directly attributable to the infection. One study estimated the mortality attributable to candidemia to be 19–24%.18

Candida infections lead to high costs

Candida is a leading cause of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections in U.S. hospitals. These infections are costly for patients and healthcare facilities. Each case of candidemia is estimated to result in an additional 3 to 13 days of hospitalization and $6,000 to $29,000 in healthcare costs.19

Invasive candidiasis outbreaks

Most cases of invasive candidiasis are not associated with outbreaks. However, sporadic outbreaks of C. parapsilosis infection have been reported for decades, including clusters of invasive candidiasis in neonatal intensive care units likely transmitted via healthcare workers’ hands.20-22 Recently, an emerging species called Candida auris has caused outbreaks of invasive infections around the world likely because of its ability to colonize patient skin and persist on healthcare surfaces. Of concern, C. auris is commonly resistant to antifungal medications and some disinfectants used in healthcare settings do not kill C. auris.

Global emergence of multidrug-resistant Candida auris

Candida auris (C. auris) is an emerging multidrug-resistant type of Candida that presents a serious global health threat, including in the United States.14 It can cause severe infections and spreads easily in healthcare facilities.

References
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  2. Tsay S, Williams S, Mu Y, Epson E, Johnston H, Farley MM, et al. National burden of candidemia, United Statesexternal icon. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2018;5(Suppl 1):S142-43.
  3. Cleveland AA, Harrison LH, Farley MM, Hollick R, Stein B, Chiller TM, et al. Declining incidence of candidemia and the shifting epidemiology of Candida resistance in two US metropolitan areas, 2008-2013: results from population-based surveillance.external icon PloS one 2015;10:e0120452.
  4. Toda M, Williams SR, Berkow EL, et al. Population-based active surveillance for culture-confirmed candidemia — four sites, United States, 2012–2016. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2019 Sep 27
  5. Poowanawittayakom N, Dutta A, Stock S, Touray S, Ellison RT, 3rd, Levitz SM. Reemergence of intravenous drug use as risk factor for candidemia, Massachusetts, USA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018;24.
  6. Zhang A, Shrum S, Williams S, Vonbank B, Hillis S, Barter D, et al. The changing epidemiology of candidemia in the United States: injection drug use as an increasingly common risk factor – active surveillance in selected sites, United States, 2014–17external icon. Clin Infect Dis . 2019 Nov 2.
  7. Rossow JA, Gharpure R, Brennan J, Relan P, Williams SR, Vallabhaneni S, et al. Injection drug use-associated candidemia: incidence, clinical features, and outcomes, East Tennessee, 2014–2018external icon. J Infect Dis. 2020 Sept 2
  8. Benedict K, Roy M, Kabbani S, Anderson EJ, Farley MM, Harb S, et al. Neonatal and pediatric candidemia: results from population-based active laboratory surveillance in four US locations, 2009-2015external icon. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 2018;7:e78-e85
  9. Cleveland AA, Farley MM, Harrison LH, Stein B, Hollick R, Lockhart SR, et al. Changes in incidence and antifungal drug resistance in candidemia: results from population-based laboratory surveillance in Atlanta and Baltimore, 2008-2011external icon. Clin Infect Dis 2012;55:1352-61.
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  12. Pfaller M, Neofytos D, Diekema D, Azie N, Meier-Kriesche HU, Quan SP, et al. Epidemiology and outcomes of candidemia in 3648 patients: data from the Prospective Antifungal Therapy (PATH Alliance(R)) registry, 2004-2008external icon. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2012;74:323-31.
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  16. Hajjeh RA, Sofair AN, Harrison LH, Lyon MG, Arthington-Skaggs BA, Mirza SA et al. Incidence of bloodstream infections due to Candida species and in vitro susceptibilities of isolates collected from 1998 to 2000 in a population-based active surveillance programexternal icon. J Clin Microbiol 2004;42:1519-27.
  17. Kao AS, Brandt ME, Pruitt WR, Conn LA, Perkins BA, Stephens DS, et al. The epidemiology of candidemia in two United States cities: results of a population-based active surveillanceexternal icon. Clin Infect Dis 1999;29:1164-70.
  18. 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 Hospital Epidemiol 2005;26:540-7.
  19. Magill SS, Edwards JR, Bamberg W, Beldavs ZG, Dumyati G, Kainer MA, et al. Multistate point-prevalence survey of health care-associated infectionsexternal icon. N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 27.
  20. Lupetti A, Tavanti A, Davini P, Ghelardi E, Corsini V, Mersui I, et al. Horizontal transmission of Candida parapsilosis candidemia in a neonatal intensive care unitexternal icon. J Clin Microbiol 2002;40:2363-9.
  21. Clark TA, Slavinski SA, Morgan J, Lott T, Arthington-Skaggs BA, Brandt ME, et al. Epidemiologic and molecular characterization of an outbreak of Candida parapsilosis bloodstream infections in a community hospitalexternal icon. J Clin Microbiol. 2004;42:4468-72.
  22. Huang YC, Lin TY, Leu HS, Peng HL, Wu JH, Chang HY, et al. Outbreak of Candida parapsilosis fungemia in neonatal intensive care units: clinical implications and genotyping analysisexternal icon. Infection 1999;27:97-102.