Author(s): Chapman RL
Candida infections have become an increasingly frequent problem in neonatal intensive care units, particularly among extremely low birth weight infants. Transmission occurs both vertically and horizontally, with Candida albicans and C. parapsilosis as the predominant species. Multiple risk factors have been identified with prior antibiotic exposure, presence of a central line, endotracheal intubation, and prior fungal colonization reported most frequently. The primary site of infection can involve the bloodstream, meninges, or urinary tract, but disease is frequently disseminated to multiple organ systems. Amphotericin is the most commonly used antifungal agent, although fluconazole is being used more frequently. The potential role of antifungal prophylaxis is not yet clearly defined, but has been the topic of recent investigative efforts. The crude mortality rate among neonates with systemic candidiasis remains approximately 30%.