Investigation of the sequence of colonization and candidemia in nonneutropenic patients

A. Voss, R. J. Hollis, M. A. Pfaller, R. P. Wenzel, B. N. Doebbeling

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204 Scopus citations


Among neutropenic patients with hematologic malignancies, candidemia has been shown to arise typically from autoinfection after colonization. In patients without neutropenia, we examined the similarities of strains colonizing or infecting various body sites and those subsequently causing Candida bloodstream infections. Strain similarity was examined by karyotyping and restriction endonuclease analysis of genomic DNA (REAG) by using two restriction enzymes (SfiI and BssHII). The banding patterns of 42 isolates from 19 patients were independently evaluated in a blinded fashion by three observers. The interobserver reliability measured with a generalized kappa statistic was 0.59 for karyotyping, 0.84 for REAG with SfiI, and 0.88 for REAG with BssHII (P < 0.001 for each). REAG classified the initial colonizing or infecting isolate and subsequent blood isolates as identical in 16 patients (84%). The mean duration of colonization or infection prior to a positive blood culture was 5 and 23 days in patients infected with related and unrelated isolates, respectively (P = 0.14; 95% confidence interval = - 14.5 to 50.5). Karyotyping results matched the REAG results for isolates from 14 of the 19 patients (74%). In patients infected with identical isolates, the initial isolate was most frequently recovered from the urine (n = 5) or vascular catheter tips (n = 4). In the five subjects with organisms showing disparate results between the methods, karyotyping revealed different banding patterns, whereas REAG suggested that the isolates were identical. Candida colonization or infection with an identical strain frequently precedes bloodstream infection in nonneutropenic patients. Future studies should evaluate whether patients at high risk for candidemia and who have vascular catheter or urine samples that are positive for a Candida on culture should be treated empirically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-980
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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