Epidemiology of Culture-confirmed Candidemia among Hospitalized Children in South Africa, 2012-2017

Liliwe Shuping*, Ruth Mpembe, Mabatho Mhlanga, Serisha D. Naicker, Tsidiso G. Maphanga, Ernest Tsotetsi, Jeannette Wadula, Sithembiso Velaphi, Firdose Nakwa, Vindana Chibabhai, Prasha Mahabeer, Masego Moncho, Elizabeth Prentice, Colleen Bamford, Kessendri Reddy, Caroline Maluleka, Dini Mawela, Motshabi Modise, Nelesh P. Govender

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We aimed to describe the epidemiology of candidemia among children in South Africa. Methods: We conducted laboratory-based surveillance among neonates (≤28 days), infants (29 days to <1 year), children (1-11 years) and adolescents (12-17 years) with Candida species cultured from blood during 2012-2017. Identification and antifungal susceptibility of viable isolates were performed at a reference laboratory. We used multivariable logistic regression to determine the association between Candida parapsilosis candidemia and 30-day mortality among neonates. Results: Of 2996 cases, neonates accounted for 49% (n = 1478), infants for 27% (n = 806), children for 20% (n = 589) and adolescents for 4% (n = 123). The incidence risk at tertiary public sector hospitals was 5.3 cases per 1000 pediatric admissions (range 0.39-119.1). Among 2943 cases with single-species infections, C. parapsilosis (42%) and Candida albicans (36%) were most common. Candida auris was among the 5 common species with an overall prevalence of 3% (n = 47). Fluconazole resistance was more common among C. parapsilosis (55% [724/1324]) versus other species (19% [334/1737]) (P < 0.001). Of those with known treatment (n = 1666), 35% received amphotericin B deoxycholate alone, 32% fluconazole alone and 30% amphotericin B deoxycholate with fluconazole. The overall 30-day in-hospital mortality was 38% (n = 586) and was highest among neonates (43% [323/752]) and adolescents (43% [28/65]). Compared with infection with other species, C. parapsilosis infection was associated with a reduced mortality among neonates (adjusted odds ratio 0.41, 95% confidence interval: 0.22-0.75, P = 0.004). Conclusions: Candidemia in this setting mainly affected neonates and infants and was characterized by fluconazole-resistant C. parapsilosis with no increased risk of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-737
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • South Africa
  • azole
  • candidemia
  • children


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