Journal Article

<i>Candida krusei</i> fungaemia: antifungal susceptibility and clinical presentation of an uncommon entity during 15 years in a single general hospital

Patricia Muñoz, Mar Sánchez-Somolinos, Luis Alcalá, Marta Rodríguez-Créixems, Teresa Peláez and Emilio Bouza

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 2, pages 188-193
Published in print February 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online February 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Candida krusei fungaemia: antifungal susceptibility and clinical presentation of an uncommon entity during 15 years in a single general hospital

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  • Medical Oncology
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Candida krusei fungaemia is an uncommon entity described in immunocompromised patients previously exposed to azole agents.


From 1988 to 2003, 13 episodes of C. krusei fungaemia (2.3% of all fungaemias) were detected in our institution and compared with 39 Candida albicans controls. Susceptibility testing was carried out with the modified microdilution method according to NCCLS recommendations.


Underlying conditions were: HIV infection (4), haematological malignancies (4), organ transplantation (2), abdominal surgery (2) and lactose intolerance (1). Nine patients (69%) were not neutropenic. In comparison with C. albicans, patients with C. krusei infection had more commonly received antifungal agents (54% versus 15%, P=0.006), had a haematological disease (31% versus 3%, P=0.03), or a transplant (15% versus 3%, P=0.08), were on corticosteroids (47% versus 13%, P=0.01) and were neutropenic (31% versus 0%, P < 0.001). Patients with C. albicans had more surgical interventions (41% versus 15%, P=0.09) and bladder catheters (61% versus 31%, P=0.05). The most common origin for C. albicans was a catheter (41% versus 0%; P=0.006) whereas for C. krusei the most common origin was unknown (69% versus 20%; P=0.001). C. krusei presented more commonly with skin lesions in neutropenic patients (23% versus 5%; P=0.05). Multivariate analysis of these differential characteristics showed that the only factor that independently predicted the presence of C. krusei fungaemia was the administration of antifungal agents before the fungaemia (RR: 6.4; P=0.009; 95%CI 1.6–25.99). Overall mortality of C. krusei fungaemia was 38% (C. albicans 49%). Except for voriconazole (MIC90 0.125 mg/L), azoles and 5-flucytosine had poor activity against C. krusei, whereas amphotericin (MIC90 1 mg/L) and LY-303366 (MIC90 0.06 mg/L) showed good activity.


C. krusei fungaemia incidence remains low despite widespread use of azoles. It may occur outside the setting of cancer patients with previous antifungal use. The presence of skin lesions should be a warning sign.

Keywords: candidosis; candidaemia; transplantation; HIV; neutropenia

Journal Article.  3839 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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