Neonatal sepsis caused by fungi (mainly Candida spp.) causes a huge burden of morbidity and mortality, poor late outcomes, as well as increased hospital costs.
Invasive Candida Infections (ICI) include bloodstream, urine, cerebrospinal, peritoneal infections, infections starting from burns and wounds, or from any other usually sterile site.
Premature neonates are particularly prone to this kind of disease, due to their decreased innate and adaptive immunities, translating into a specific, decreased resistance to candidiasis.
This specific, increased risk for ICI is greatest when gestational age and birth weight are lowest. As the burden of ICI has been increasing over the last years, research efforts have been focused towards identifying key risk factors, effective preventative strategies, and efficacious and well-tolerated antifungal drugs for the neonatal population.
This article summarizes the most remarkable issues in these areas, and features an overview of the current diagnostic, preventative and treatment strategies.
Key words: Candida, neonate, infection, preterm, micafungin, fluconazole