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Differences in epidemiology of candidaemia in the Nordic countries – what is to blame?

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National data from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden demonstrate remarkable differences in candidaemia epidemiology. Only Denmark has reported a high incidence of 10 per 100 000 inhabitants and a species shift towards increased C. glabrata candidaemias. The reasons for this development remain unclear. The aim of this study was to explore possible contributing factors for the differences in Candida epidemiology in the Nordic countries. We used public data from 2011 from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on epidemiology, demographics, health facilities, predisposing risk factors, consumption of antimicrobial drugs and fungicides in agricultural industry. Only the prevalence of haematological malignancies (P < 0.001) was significantly higher in Denmark compared to the other Nordic countries. The antibacterial drug use of metronidazole, piperacillin‐tazobactam, ciprofloxacin, colistin and carbapenems, and antifungal use of fluconazole in humans (P < 0.001), were significantly higher in Denmark compared to the other Nordic countries (all P < 0.001). Our findings suggest haematological malignancy, the use of certain antibacterial drugs and azoles in humans as possible contributing factors for the differences in Candida epidemiology. However, our results should be interpreted with caution due to the lack of long‐term, case‐specific data. Further studies are needed.
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Keywords: Candidaemia; Nordic countries; antifungal consumption; prescription practice

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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