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Fungal infections after bone marrow transplant.

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University of Florida College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Gainesville 32610-0277, USA.


With improved control of cytomegalovirus infection, invasive fungal infections have become the leading cause of infectious mortality after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). A number of changes in transplant practices have led to changes in patterns of fungal infections: neutropenic episodes have been shortened through the use of hematopoietic growth factors and peripheral blood as a source of stem cells. More potent immunosuppressive regimens, including T-cell depletion techniques, have encouraged the use of alternate donor sources with greater numbers of transplant recipients experiencing more prolonged and more profound immunodeficiency following engraftment. The advent of new antifungal agents has led to a decline in Candida infections, but has encouraged the emergence of other less susceptible fungal pathogens. The development of molecular techniques to distinguish different fungal strains has led to identification of nosocomial transmission as an unexpected means for the spread of fungal infections in BMT units. These shifts in fungal infection patterns emphasize the need for infection control monitoring. The development of more accurate diagnostic tools and the incorporation of new antifungal agents into practice are needed to further improve outcomes.

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