© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Invasive candidiasis is an important health-care-associated fungal infection that can be caused by several Candida spp.; the most common species is Candida albicans, but the prevalence of these organisms varies considerably depending on geographical location. The spectrum of disease of invasive candidiasis ranges from minimally symptomatic candidaemia to fulminant sepsis with an associated mortality exceeding 70%. Candida spp. are common commensal organisms in the skin and gut microbiota, and disruptions in the cutaneous and gastrointestinal barriers (for example, owing to gastrointestinal perforation) promote invasive disease. A deeper understanding of specific Candida spp. virulence factors, host immune response and host susceptibility at the genetic level has led to key insights into the development of early intervention strategies and vaccine candidates. The early diagnosis of invasive candidiasis is challenging but key to the effective management, and the development of rapid molecular diagnostics could improve the ability to intervene rapidly and potentially reduce mortality. First-line drugs, including echinocandins and azoles, are effective, but the emergence of antifungal resistance, especially among Candida glabrata, is a matter of concern and underscores the need to administer antifungal medications in a judicious manner, avoiding overuse when possible. A newly described pathogen, Candida auris, is an emerging multidrug-resistant organism that poses a global threat.