SAN DIEGO – Nearly one in ten adults hospitalized with candidemia had Clostridium difficile coinfections in a large multistate study.
Both candidemia and CDI are serious health care–associated infections that disproportionately affect older, severely ill, and immunosuppressed patients, noted Dr. Tsay, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in the mycotic diseases branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. Every year in the United States, about 50,000 individuals are hospitalized with candidemia, and about 30% die within 30 days of diagnosis. The prevalence of CDI is about tenfold higher, and 30-day mortality rates range between about 1% and 9%.
To understand why candidemia and CDI occur together, consider the effects of oral vancomycin therapy, Dr. Tsay said. Antibiotic pressure disrupts normal gut flora, leading to decreased immunity and Candida colonization. Disrupting the gut microbiome also increases the risk of CDI, which can damage gut mucosa, especially in hypervirulent cases such as C. difficile ribotype 027. Vancomycin can also directly damage the gut mucosa, after which Candida can translocate into the bloodstream.
To better characterize CDI and candidemia coinfections in the United States, Dr. Tsay and her associates analyzed data from CDC’s , which tracks infections of high public health significance in 10 states across the country. Among 2,129 patients with a positive blood culture for Candida from 2014 through 2016, 193 (9%) had a diagnosis of CDI within 90 days. Two-thirds of CDI cases preceded candidemia (median, 10 days) and one-third occurred afterward (median, 7 days). Rates of 30-day mortality rates were 25% in patients with and without CDI. For both groups, Candida albicans was the most commonly identified species, followed by C. glabrata and C. parapsilosis.
A multivariate model identified four risk factors for CDI in patients with candidemia – solid organ transplantation (odds ratio, 3.0), hemodialysis (OR, 1.8), prior hospital stay (OR, 1.7), and diabetes (OR, 1.4). Data were limited to case report forms and did not include information about CDI severity or treatment, Dr. Tsay said.
Dr. Tsay and her associates reported having no conflicts of interest.