The clinical, pathological, and microbiological features of 18 pregnancies complicated by intrauterine infection with Candida sp. are described. Chorioamnionitis with Candida sp. can be recognised macroscopically at birth. Penetration of the umbilical cord and membranes is associated with an intense fetal inflammatory response. The infection characteristically presents in infants of very low birthweight as pneumonia or a skin infection. In nearly every case the organism can be recovered from the gastric aspirate. A case control study showed that there is a striking association between chorioamnionitis caused by Candida sp. and the presence of a foreign body (an intrauterine contraceptive device or a cervical suture) in the mother's genital tract in pregnancy. This feature in the perinatal history of an infant of short gestation who exhibits a very high neutrophil count should alert the clinician to the possible presence of chorioamnionitis due to Candida sp.
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