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J Infect. 2007 Oct;55(4):287-99. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

Improved outcomes associated with advances in therapy for invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised hosts.

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Communicable Diseases Directorate, E Floor, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK.


Invasive fungal infections cause substantial morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised hosts. The response rate to therapy, in particular for invasive aspergillosis and invasive mould infections, has been poor. Recently a number of techniques to facilitate early diagnosis of these infections, in parallel with the development of a number of antifungals with increased potency and lower toxicity, have raised optimism that outcomes for invasive fungal infection can be improved upon. The availability of lipid formulations of amphotericin B, azoles with extended spectrum against filamentous fungi and the development of a new class of antifungal agents, the echinocandins, presents the clinician with a range of therapeutic choices. Recent clinical trials have provided important insights into how these agents should be used. In particular, voriconazole has demonstrated superior efficacy to amphotericin B in the management of invasive aspergillosis, posaconazole has been shown to have significant efficacy in the prophylaxis of invasive fungal infection in high-risk individuals and a role in salvage therapy of invasive aspergillosis, caspofungin has demonstrated efficacy in salvage therapy of invasive aspergillosis, and each of the echinocandins show activity without significant toxicity in invasive candidiasis. Nevertheless, many therapeutic areas of uncertainty remain, including the role of combination therapy, and will provide the focus for future studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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