Intra-Abdominal Candidiasis

*Afzal Azim,1 Armin Ahmed,2 Arvind Kumar Baronia,1 Rungmei S. K. Marak,3 Nabeel Muzzafar2

1. Department of Critical Care Medicine, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India
2. Department of Critical Care, King George Medical University, Lucknow, India
3. Department of Microbiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India
*Correspondence to

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Acknowledgements: Dr Azim contributed to critical revisions, the literature search, and the preparation of the manuscript. Dr Ahmed contributed to the preparation of manuscript and the literature search. Dr Baronia contributed to concept building and mentorship. Dr Marak contributed to concept building. Dr Muzzafar contributed to the literature search.
Received: 27.01.17 Accepted: 13.06.17
Citation: EMJ Nephrol. 2017;5[1]:83-92.


Intra-abdominal candidiasis (IAC) is the second most common form of invasive candidiasis after candidaemia. IAC is a broad term and can be classified on the basis of anatomical site (Candida peritonitis, pancreatic candidiasis, biliary tract candidiasis, gastrointestinal candidiasis, and hepatosplenic candidiasis) as well as clinical setting (community acquired versus nosocomial). The risk factors linked with IAC are candida colonisation, anastomotic leak, multiple instrumentation, long-term broad spectrum antibiotic use, total parenteral nutrition, and immunocompromised state. Clinically, IAC is not different from intraabdominal bacterial infection. Patients generally present with signs and symptoms of intra-abdominal sepsis after not responding to antibiotic therapy and with a background history of multiple surgical interventions or history of delayed source control. Radiological investigations, like ultrasonography and computed tomography scan, not only aid in diagnosis but also assist in differentiating medical from surgical cases. Microbiological diagnosis requires isolation of candida from an intra-abdominal specimen. Differentiation between colonisation and infection is difficult. Generally, progressive and persistent colonisation is associated with high risk of infection. Blood cultures have poor sensitivity for IAC. Non-culture based techniques used for diagnosis are mannan/anti-mannan assay, beta-D glucan assay, and validated polymerase chain reaction. Four types of antifungal strategies described in the literature are prophylaxis (risk factor driven), pre-emptive (colonisation or biomarker driven), empirical (fever driven), and targeted therapy (microbiology driven). Over recent years, global epidemiology has shown a shift from Candida albicans to non-albicans. Local epidemiology plays an important role in selection of the appropriate empirical therapy. The purpose of this review is to discuss different types of IAC based on their classification, risk factors, and management.

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