An apparent outbreak of serious Candida albicans infections (n = 6) occurred in a surgical intensive care unit over a 4-week period. Four patients developed C. albicans bloodstream infections. An additional patient developed catheter-related C. albicans infection; the sixth patient developed an infection of cerebrospinal fluid. C. albicans was isolated from the hands of five health care workers (17%) and the throat of one health care worker (3%) during the outbreak investigation. Karyotyping and restriction endonuclease analysis of genomic DNA with BssHII of 23 C. albicans isolates from patients and the 6 health care worker isolates revealed 9 and 12 different patterns, respectively. Three of six patients appeared to be infected with the same C. albicans strain (two bloodstream infections and one cerebrospinal fluid infection). The hands of a health care worker were colonized with strain that appeared identical to an isolate from a patient prior to infection of the patient. However, restriction endonuclease analysis with SfiI found differences among the isolates determined to be identical by the other two methods. Karyotyping alone does not appear to be sufficient to differentiate between outbreak and control isolates. Restriction endonuclease analysis typing may be a more sensitive method than karyotyping alone in the investigation of a cluster of C. albicans infections. Furthermore, the use of more than one restriction enzyme may be necessary for optimal strain discrimination in restriction endonuclease analysis of genomic DNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)