Fungal infections are an important cause of mortality and morbidity in the neonatal period, especially in preterm infants. Candida albicans is the most common pathogenic yeast to neonates but invasive fungal infections caused by uncommon fungi have emerged in recent years. Wickerhamomyces anomalus is a emerging fungal pathogen causing blood stream infection in neonates, which has reportedly caused only few cases in the literature. Here we present a case series of total twelve cases of Wickerhamomyces anomalus isolated from blood of neonates. All 12 isolates were identified by Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization- time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and were susceptible to voriconazole, amphotericin-B, caspofungin and 3 isolates showed reduced susceptibility to fluconazole. Risk factor assessment was also performed which showed that preterm birth and antibiotic use were most common associated risk factors. Despite all available treatment measures four out of twelve neonates died during treatment. This case series highlights Wickerhamomyces anomalus as an emerging fungal pathogen and emphasize the importance of molecular methods in its accurate identification.
Key words: Neonates, Candida albicans, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, MALDI-TOF MS, Preterm birth