Investigation of a healthcare associated Candida tropicalis candidiasis cluster in a haematology unit and a systematic review of nosocomial outbreaks

Aleksandra Barac, Muge Cevik, Natasa Colovic, Danijela Lekovic, Goran Stevanovic, Jelena Micic, Salvatore Rubino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Non‐albicans Candida spp. are an emerging cause of hospital‐bloodstream infections, associated with high mortality due to the challenges in diagnosis and delayed treatment.


We aimed to investigate a cluster of healthcare associated invasive candidiasis caused by C. tropicalis and review the literature of healthcare associated outbreaks or clusters caused by C. tropicalis.


An investigation was performed to determine clinical presentation, treatment outcomes and the factors contributing to C. tropicalis candidemia occurrence. We searched the Medline database via PubMed and Ovid using the keywords of “Candida tropicalis” combined with “outbreak” or “clustering” or “clusters”, and we limited the search to studies conducted from January 1989 to January 2019


We report two related cases of C. tropicalis candidemia among patients with AML following a period of neutropenia, who had erythematous skin rash as a first manifesting sign of candidiasis. C. tropicalis was isolated from blood and skin cultures of both patients, which were identical by pulsed‐field gel electrophoresis typing. Our systematic review of outbreaks caused by C. tropicalis suggests that (1) most reported outbreaks have occurred in neonatal and adult ICUs, (2) patients who receive total parenteral therapy, antibiotics and those who have indwelling catheters and recent surgery are at high risk of infection, (3) environmental and healthcare personnel surveillance suggest that cross‐contamination is a major risk factor.


Control of nosocomial outbreaks caused by C. tropicalis should include better infection control measures, education of healthcare professionals especially working in adult and neonatal intensive care and haematology units.

Original languageEnglish
VolumeEarly View
Early online date28 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2020


  • Candida tropicalis
  • Candidemia
  • Candidiasis
  • Cluster
  • Cross-contamination
  • Outbreak


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