Epidemiology of Candida kefyr in patients with hematologic malignancies

Simon F. Dufresne, Kieren A. Marr, Emily Sydnor, Janet F. Staab, Judith E. Karp, Kit Lu, Sean X. Zhang, Christian Lavallée, Trish M. Perl, Dionysios Neofytosa

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49 Scopus citations


Candida kefyr is an emerging pathogen among patients with hematologic malignancies (HM). We performed a retrospective study at Johns Hopkins Hospital to evaluate the epidemiology of C. kefyr colonization and infection in HM patients between 2004 and 2010. Eighty-three patients were colonized and/or infected with C. kefyr, with 8 (9.6%) having invasive candidiasis (IC). The yearly incidence of C. kefyr colonization and candidemia increased over the study period (P<0.01), particularly after 2009. In 2010, C. kefyr caused 16.7% of candidemia episodes. The monthly incidence of C. kefyr was higher during the summer throughout the study. In a cohort of patients with acute myelogenic leukemia receiving induction chemotherapy, risks for C. kefyr colonization included the summer season (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; P0.03); administration of an azole (OR, 0.06; P<0.001) or amphotericin B (OR, 0.35; P0.05) was protective. Fingerprinting of 16 isolates by repetitive sequence-based PCR showed that all were different genottypes. The epidemiology of C. kefyr candidemia was evaluated in another hospital in Montreal, Canada; data confirmed higher rates of C. kefyr infection in the summer. C. kefyr appears to be increasing in HM patients, with prominent summer seasonality. These findings raise questions about the effect of antifungal agents and health care exposures (e.g., yogurt) on the epidemiology of this yeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1837
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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