Candidemia in Adults at a Tertiary Hospital in China: Clinical Characteristics, Species Distribution, Resistance, and Outcomes

Shaoming Lin, Ruilan Chen, Song Zhu, Huijun Wang, Lianfang Wang, Jian Zou, Jingdong Yan, Xiangdong Zhang, Dimitrios Farmakiotis, Xiaojiang Tan, Eleftherios Mylonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Candidemia is one of the most common nosocomial bloodstream infections. Early diagnosis and antifungal treatment improve clinical outcomes in some studies but not all, with diverse data reported from different institutions. Similarly, antifungal resistance is more common in the USA than in Europe, but there is little data regarding the microbiology and clinical course of candidemia in adult patients in Asia. Aims: (1) To capture species distribution and drug resistance rates among Candida bloodstream isolates, (2) to describe clinical features of candidemia, and (3) to identify factors associated with all-cause mortality, with emphasis on early initiation of antifungal treatment, at a large tertiary University Hospital in China. Methods: In this single-center retrospective study, we identified all patients with candidemia, between 2008 and 2014. Demographic and clinical characteristics, microbiological information, details of antifungal therapy and clinical outcomes were collected. Results: We studied 166 patients. 71 (42.8%) had cancer. Candida albicans was the most frequent species (37.3%), followed by C. parapsilosis (24.1%), C. tropicalis (22.8%), and C. glabrata (14.5%). Antifungal resistance was more frequent in non-albicans strains and especially C. glabrata. Twenty patients received inappropriate treatment with all-cause mortality of 35%. The remaining 146 patients had significantly lower mortality (21.9%, P = 0.045). Among patients who received antifungal treatment, mortality rate increased with time to appropriate antifungal therapy (AAT): 13.7%, for < 24 h, 21.1% for 24–48 h, 23.1% for > 48 h, and 32.4% among patients who received no AT (χ2 for trend P = 0.039). Initiating AAT more than 24 h after blood culture collection was an independent risk factor for mortality, after adjustment for other confounders (OR 7.1, 95% CI 1.3–39.4, P = 0.024). Conclusions: Candida albicans was the most frequent cause of candidemia at a large tertiary hospital in China, but antifungal resistance is a growing concern among non-albicans Candida species. The mortality rate of patients treated with ineffective antifungal agents based on in vitro susceptibilities was similar to that of patients who received no treatment at all, and delayed initiation of antifungal treatment was associated with increased risk of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-689
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Antifungal resistance
  • Antifungal therapy
  • Candida bloodstream infection
  • Candidemia
  • Clinical outcomes
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)


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