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Volume 48, Number 4, August 2015

Clinical significance of time to positivity for yeast in candidemia 

Liang-Yu Chen, Su-Pen Yang, Te-Li Chen, Shu-Yuan Liao, Yin-Yin Chen, Yu-Jiun Chan, Liang-Kung Chen, Fu-Der Wang

Received: October 9, 2012    Revised: September 4, 2013    Accepted: November 4, 2013   


Corresponding author:

Fu-Der Wang
Corresponding author. Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Number 201, Section 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei 11217, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Candidemia is an important issue of nosocomial bloodstream infections, and is associated with a high mortality rate. However, little information is available before final species identification, which takes days after the episode of candidemia. This study tried to determine whether time to positivity (TTP) for yeast helps in predicting the species of candidemia. 



A retrospective cohort study was conducted in Taiwan, which included 434 episodes of nonduplicated candidemia during the period between 2006 and 2009. The demographic features, clinical characteristics, TTP for yeast, and acute illness scores were included for analysis. 



The mean age of patients with candidemia was 70.4 ± 15.2 years, and the 30-day crude mortality rate was 48.2%. Forty-five percent of patients suffered from shock status with a mean Acute Physiological and Chronic Health Evaluation II score of 27.0 ± 8.7 and a mean Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score of 9.7 ± 4.5, whereas 50% were admitted to the intensive care units. Candida albicans was still the most commonly identified pathogen (58.1%), followed by C. tropicalis (14.7%), C. parapsilosis (13.1%), and C. glabrata (8.3%). Results of multivariate logistic regression showed that TTP for yeast within 48 hours would more favor C. tropicalis (p = 0.044), and less favor C. glabrata (p = 0.025) and C. parapsilosis (p < 0.001). Patients with parenteral nutrition usage were more frequently associated with a TTP for yeast within 48 hours, whereas those with previous exposure to an antifungal agent had a longer TTP for yeast. 



The TTP for yeast might provide a hint of the responsible Candida species before final identification among critical patients with candidemia. The association between antifungal agents and TTP would need more evidence for elucidation. 


Key words:

Antifungal treatment, Candidemia, Time to positivity