Invasive fungal infection (IFI) is a persistent problem among critically ill and immunocompromised patients, especially hematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant recipients, or patients on intensive chemotherapy for acute leukemia. Although numerous antifungal agents are available, IFI remains a serious problem because of obstacles to timely diagnosis and high morbidity and mortality rates associated with such infection. Improvements in treatment of underlying diseases have rapidly expanded the patient populations at risk for IFI with increased use of immunosuppressants, aggressive chemotherapy, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and narrow-spectrum antifungal prophylaxis. There are various treatment strategies that can be used to manage IFI: prophylaxis, empiric, preemptive, and directed. As the infection progresses, the prospect of successfully treating an infection diminishes; conversely, the earlier the intervention, the greater the possibility of unnecessary treatment. This article discusses the epidemiology of the most important fungal pathogens, identifies high-risk patient groups and risk factors associated with IFI, and critically evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of available diagnostic tests and treatment strategies and the rationale for antifungal prophylaxis. For patients at high risk for IFI, antifungal prophylaxis is an attractive strategy, and numerous randomized, controlled clinical studies have documented the benefit of such prophylaxis as well as the most efficacious of currently available agents.
Evaluating the role of prophylaxis in the management of invasive fungal infections in patients with hematologic malignancy / OA. Cornely; F. Aversa; P. Cook; B. Jones; M. Michallet; T. Shea; C. Vallejo. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY. - ISSN 0902-4441. - 87:4(2011), pp. 289-301.