Candida Bloodstream Infections

Candida, a yeast that normally lives in and on the human body, is one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in the United States; however, information about this infection in large populations is scarce.

Through the EIP HAI candidemia surveillance project, CDC monitors epidemiologic trends in candidemia and performs species confirmation and antifungal susceptibility testing on all available Candida bloodstream isolates to:

  • Track incidence of candidemia and monitor trends,
  • Detect emergence and spread of resistance to antifungal agents and communicate these results back to submitting laboratories,
  • Determine the burden of infections due to antifungal-resistant Candida species,
  • Understand and describe specific genetic mutations associated with resistance, and
  • Identify areas where candidemia prevention and intervention strategies can be focused.

Surveillance data show that approximately 9 out of 100,000 persons developed culture-positive candidemia annually in four U.S. EIP sites during 2012–2016.

Groups of people more highly affected by candidemia include:

  • Adults aged 65 and older
  • Babies less than 1 month old
  • People of black race
  • People who inject drugs
  • People who have had recent surgery, exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics, or a central venous catheter (CVC)

One in four patients with candidemia died while hospitalized, suggesting this infection is associated with substantial risk of death. About 10% of cases occurred in patients with a history of injection drug use, mostly in younger adults. In recent years, injection drug use has become an important risk factor for candidemia.

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