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March 1981

Congenital Candidiasis

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(3):273-275. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130270065023

Candida albicans is a common inhabitant and frequent pathogen of the female genital tract, especially during pregnancy.1 Despite the large number of pregnant women who are either colonized or have symptomatic vaginal candidal infections, only 29 occurrences of intrauterine (congenital) candidal infection of the fetus, placenta, or umbilical cord have been described.2-21

Infants with candidal infections that are acquired prior to delivery can have either local or systemic disease. Infections limited to the placenta and/or umbilical cord or to the skin have generally responded to minimal therapy, and in almost all cases, have had favorable outcomes. However, congenital candidal infection can also be frequently associated with intrauterine death, or death in the immediate neonatal period of disseminated disease.

Previous case reports have discussed the clinical characteristics and the proposed mechanism of infection in cases of congenital candidiasis. Few recommendations exist, however, on how to identify and care for