Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of the study was to determine the incidence and risk factors of fungal infections in patients admitted to pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in Menoufiya University Hospital. Background Critically ill patients are immunosuppressed, invasively monitored, and exposed to aggressive interventions that put them at increased risk for infectious complications while residing in PICU. Fungal pathogens are an increasing important cause of infection among patients in PICU. Patients and methods This study was conducted on 492 critically ill pediatric patients admitted to PICU from July 2010 to July 2011; each patient was examined and sampled on the day of admission and after 5 and 7 days of admission. Samples were taken from oropharyngeal, axillary, and rectal areas in addition to blood sample. All specimens were cultured on Sabouraud dextrose agar. The analysis of samples included a direct examination, culture, and susceptibility of isolates to antifungal drugs. Results Candida albicans was the most common colonizing organisms, as about 156 (31.7%) patients were colonized by it on the day of admission. The most commonly acquired fungi were: C. glabrata in 71 (25.7%) patients, C. tropicalis in 61 (22.1%) patients, C. albicans in 46 (16.7%) patients, C. krusei in 33 (11.9%) patients, Aspergillus flavus in 20 (7.3%) patients, and mixed infection in 45 (16.3%) patients. Patients on previous antibiotic therapy, parenteral nutrition, and central venous line had an increased risk of acquiring fungal organisms. Conclusion Monitoring for colonization with Candida spp. in children admitted to PICU and children undergoing treatment for severe sepsis or septic shock in PICU for more than 5 days may offer an opportunity for early intervention for prevention of candidemia.