Invasive Fungal Infection.Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116(16):271-278DA
The incidence of invasive fungal infection is approximately 6 cases per 100 000 persons per year. It is estimated that only half of such infections are detected during the patient's lifetime, making this one of the more common overlooked causes of death in intensive-care patients. The low detection rate is due in part to the complexity of the diagnostic work-up, in which the clinical, radiological, and microbiological findings must be considered. Fungi with resistance to antimycotic drugs have been found to be on the rise around the world.
This review is based on pertinent publications retrieved from a selective search in PubMed, with special attention to guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of invasive fungal infections caused by Candida spp., Aspergillus spp., Mucorales, and Fusarium spp.
The clinical risk factors for invasive fungal infection include, among others, congenital immune deficiency, protracted (>10 days) marked granulocytopenia (<0.5 x 109/L), allogeneic stem-cell transplantation, and treatment with immunosuppressive drugs or corticosteroids. High-risk groups include patients in intensive care and those with structural pulmonary disease and/or compli- cated influenza. The first line of treatment, supported by the findings of randomized clinical trials, consists of echinocandins for in- fections with Candida spp. (candidemia response rates: 75.6% for anidulafungin vs. 60.2% for fluconazole) and azole antimycotic drugs for infections with Aspergillus spp. (response rates: 52.8% for voriconazole vs. 31.6% for conventional amphotericin B). The recommended first-line treatment also depends on the local epidemiology. This challenge should be met by interdisciplinary collaboration. Therapeutic decision-making should also take account of the often severe undesired effects of antimycotic drugs (including impairment of hepatic and/or renal function) and the numerous interactions that some of them have with other drugs.
Invasive fungal infections are often overlooked in routine hospital care. They should be incorporated into antimicro- bial stewardship programs as an essential component. There is also a pressing need for the development of new classes of antimycotic drug.