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Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Candida infection in neonates

Mohan Pammi, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Leonard E Weisman, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Candida has emerged as an important cause of neonatal infections with significant morbidity and mortality, especially in extremely low and very low birth weight infants, defined as birth weights below 1000 g and 1500 g, respectively [1-5]. The clinical manifestations of Candida infection in the neonate vary, ranging from localized infections of the skin and mucous membranes to life-threatening systemic infection with multisystem organ failure. Host risk factors, such as prematurity and the use of invasive procedures, are important determinants that influence the severity and type of neonatal Candida infection [3,5].

The clinical manifestations of Candida infection in the neonate will be reviewed here. The etiology, treatment, and prevention of neonatal candidal infections are discussed separately, as are the clinical manifestations of Candida in older infants and children. (See "Epidemiology and risk factors for Candida infection in neonates" and "Treatment of Candida infection in neonates" and "Candida infections in children: An overview".)


The various presentations of Candida infections in the newborn can be separated into the following categories [6]:

Mucocutaneous candidiasis, which includes oropharyngeal involvement (thrush) or diaper dermatitis.

Systemic candidiasis typically due to catheter-related or localized infections that progress to disseminated infections and multiorgan involvement.


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Sep 8, 2015.
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