Early-onset invasive candidiasis in extremely low birth weight infants: Perinatal acquisition predicts poor outcome

Michelle Barton, Alex Shen, Karel O'Brien, Joan L. Robinson, H. Dele Davies, Kim Simpson, Elizabeth Asztalos, Joanne Langley, Nicole Le Saux, Reginald Sauve, Anne Synnes, Ben Tan, Louis De Repentigny, Earl Rubin, Chuck Hui, Lajos Kovacs, Yvonne C.W. Yau, Susan E. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background. Neonatal invasive candidiasis (IC) presenting in the first week of life is less common and less well described than later-onset IC. Risk factors, clinical features, and disease outcomes have not been studied in early-onset disease (EOD, ≤7 days) or compared to late-onset disease (LOD, >7 days). Methods. All extremely low birth weight (ELBW, <1000 g) cases with IC and controls from a multicenter study of neonatal candidiasis enrolled from 2001 to 2003 were included in this study. Factors associated with occurrence and outcome of EOD in ELBW infants were determined. Results. Forty-five ELBW infants and their 84 matched controls were included. Fourteen (31%) ELBW infants had EOD. Birth weight <750 g, gestation <25 weeks, chorioamnionitis, and vaginal delivery were all strongly associated with EOD. Infection with Candida albicans, disseminated disease, pneumonia, and cardiovascular disease were significantly more common in EOD than in LOD. The EOD case fatality rate (71%) was higher than in LOD (32%) or controls (15%) (P = .0001). The rate of neurodevelopmental impairment and mortality combined was similar in EOD (86%) and LOD (72%), but higher than in controls (32%; P = .007). Conclusions. ELBW infants with EOD have a very poor prognosis compared to those with LOD. The role of perinatal transmission in EOD is supported by its association with chorioamnionitis, vaginal delivery, and pneumonia. Dissemination and cardiovascular involvement are common, and affected infants often die. Empiric treatment should be considered for ELBW infants delivered vaginally who have pneumonia and whose mothers have chorioamnionitis or an intrauterine foreign body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Congenital candidiasis
  • ELB
  • Invasive candidiasis
  • Neonatal candidiasis
  • Systemic candidiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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