Purpose: The incidence of Candida bloodstream infections (BSI) has increased over the past two decades. The rank order of occurrence and the susceptibility to antifungals of the various Candida species causing BSI are important factors driving the establishment of empirical treatment protocols; however, very limited multi-institutional data are available on Candida bloodstream isolates in Korea. Materiasl and Methods: We investigated the susceptibility to azole antifungals and species distribution of 143 Candida bloodstream isolates recovered from eight university hospitals over a six-month period. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole for each isolate were determined by the broth microdilution method of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Results: The Candida species recovered most frequently from the blood cultures was C albicans (49%), followed by C parapsilosis (22%), C tropicalis (14%), and C. glabrata (11%). The MIC ranges for the Candida isolates were 0.125 to 64 μg/mL, for fluconazole, 0.03 to 2 μg/mL for itraconazole, and 0.03 to 1 μg/mL for voriconazole. Overall, resistance to fluconazole was found in only 2% of the Candida isolates (3/143), while the dose-dependent susceptibility was found in 6% (8/ 143). The resistance and dose-dependent susceptibility of itraconazole were found in 4% (6/143) and 14% (20/143) of the isolates, respectively. All bloodstream isolates were susceptible to voriconazole (MIC,≤ 1 μg/mL). Conclusion: Our findings show that C albicans is the most common cause of Candida-related BSI, followed by C. parapsilosis, and that the rates of resistance to azole antifungals are still low among bloodstream isolates in Korea.
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