Multidrug-resistant candida: Epidemiology, molecular mechanisms, and treatment

Maiken Cavling Arendrup, Thomas F. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

329 Scopus citations


Invasive Candida infections remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in hospitalized and immunocompro-mised or critically ill patients. A limited number of antifungal agents from only a few drug classes are available to treat patients with these serious infections. Resistance can be either intrinsic or acquired. Resistance mechanisms are not exchanged between Candida; thus, acquired resistance either emerges in response to an antifungal selection pressure in the individual patient or, more rarely, occur due to horizontal transmission of resistant strains between patients. Although multidrug resistance is uncommon, increasing reports of multidrug resistance to the azoles, echinocandins, and polyenes have occurred in several Candida species, most notably Candida glabrata and more recently Candida auris. Drivers are overall antifungal use, subtherapeutic drug levels at sites of infection/ colonization, drug sequestration in the biofilm matrix, and, in the setting of outbreaks, suboptimal infection control. Moreover, recent research suggests that DNA mismatch repair gene mutations may facilitate acquisition of resistance mutations in C. glabrata specifically. Diagnosis of antifungal-resistant Candida infections is critical to the successful management of patients with these infections. Reduction of unnecessary use of antifungals via antifungal stewardship is critical to limit multidrug resistance emergence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S445-S451
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Jan 15 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Amphotericin B
  • Azole
  • Candida
  • Candida C. auris
  • Candida glabrate
  • Echinocandin
  • Fluconazole
  • Multidrug resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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