, Volume 164, Issue 6, pp 287-293
Date: 15 Sep 2007

Candida parapsilosis fungemia in neonates: genotyping results suggest healthcare workers hands as source, and review of published studies

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An outbreak of Candida parapsilosis fungemia involving 17 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients was studied. There were 14 blood culture and nine colonizing isolates from other sites available. The hands of NICU healthcare workers (HCW) yielded eight isolates. Screening of the isolates by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method showed only three profiles. Typing by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) revealed all blood isolates were RFLP subtype VII-1. Among the nine infant colonizing isolates, there were four different RFLP subtypes; four of the isolates were subtype VII-1. Seven of the eight isolates from HCW were RFLP subtype VII-1. The majority of infant colonizers were not found in the blood, suggesting a possible direct spread of the epidemic subtype VII-1 strain from HCW hands to infant blood. The source of the infant colonizing strains is unclear, but non-VII-1 strains may be largely of maternal origin and VII-1 strains from HCW. These findings reinforce prior studies that have implicated HCW hands as the source of nosocomial, including neonatal, fungemia.