The Emerging Infections Program (EIP) conducts Candidemia surveillance in all ten EIP sites throughout the United States. The purpose of this surveillance system is to describe epidemiological characteristics of Candidemia such as incidence, Candida species distribution, antifungal drug resistance, treatment practices, and outcomes on a local and national level, in order to develop and implement effective prevention and control strategies.
Candidemia is an invasive bloodstream infection (BSI) caused by a yeast called Candida. Certain species of Candida are part of the normal flora in humans and can be found in small amounts in areas such as the gastrointestinal tract, female genital tract, and on the skin. In these areas, low levels of Candida are kept in check by the body’s immune system. However, in instances of over-growth, Candida can become harmful and if the yeast enters the blood stream it causes a serious, often life threatening infection called Candidemia.
Candidemia is an important public health problem due to the high morbidity and mortality associated with invasive infection, as well as the burden of increased hospital cost and length of stay. Risk factors for developing Candidemia include: presence of a central venous catheter, admission to an intensive care unit, having a weakened immune system (e.g. organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, cancer chemotherapy), taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, having a very low neutrophil count (neutropenia), having kidney failure or being on hemodialysis, having abdominal surgery and having diabetes 1. Given the risk factors, Candidemia is most likely to occur following a recent hospital admission or contact with a healthcare setting such as a nursing home. Among hospitalized patients with BSI, those infected with Candida had the highest mortality. Recent studies estimate the mortality attributed to Candidemia to be about 30% in the United States 2. Candida does not spread directly from person to person. However, since it can be found on the skin, Candida can be transmitted from one person to another and may lead to infection in individuals with high risk factors.
1 Invasive Candidiasis Risk & Prevention Retrieved from URL
2 Invasive Candidiasis Statistics Retrieved from URL
Goals & Objectives
ActivitiesIn Connecticut, prospective laboratory-based surveillance will be conducted to identify blood cultures positive for Candida spp. Data will be abstracted via chart review on cases using standardized data collection instruments and the Candida spp. isolates will be sent to CDC for species confirmation, antifungal resistance testing, and in some cases, molecular typing.
Recent Candida Publications
Project ContactPaula Clogher, MPH
Connecticut Emerging Infections Program
One Church Street, 7th floor
New Haven, CT 06510