Scientific article
Open access

Antifungal prophylaxis and pre-emptive therapy : when and how ?

Published inMolecular aspects of medicine, vol. 92, 101190
Publication date2023-08
First online date2023-05-17

The growing pool of critically ill or immunocompromised patients leads to a constant increase of life-threatening invasive infections by fungi such as Aspergillus spp., Candida spp. and Pneumocystis jirovecii. In response to this, prophylactic and pre-emptive antifungal treatment strategies have been developed and implemented for high-risk patient populations. The benefit by risk reduction needs to be carefully weighed against potential harm caused by prolonged exposure against antifungal agents. This includes adverse effects and development of resistance as well as costs for the healthcare system. In this review, we summarise evidence and discuss advantages and downsides of antifungal prophylaxis and pre-emptive treatment in the setting of malignancies such as acute leukaemia, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, CAR-T cell therapy, and solid organ transplant. We also address preventive strategies in patients after abdominal surgery and with viral pneumonia as well as individuals with inherited immunodeficiencies. Notable progress has been made in haematology research, where strong recommendations regarding antifungal prophylaxis and pre-emptive treatment are backed by data from randomized controlled trials, whereas other critical areas still lack high-quality evidence. In these areas, paucity of definitive data translates into centre-specific strategies that are based on interpretation of available data, local expertise, and epidemiology. The development of novel immunomodulating anticancer drugs, high-end intensive care treatment and the development of new antifungals with new modes of action, adverse effects and routes of administration will have implications on future prophylactic and pre-emptive approaches.

  • Empiric treatment
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infection in haematology
  • Invasive fungal infection
  • Mycoses
  • Humans
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Mycoses / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Immunocompromised Host
Citation (ISO format)
SPRUTE, Rosanne et al. Antifungal prophylaxis and pre-emptive therapy : when and how ? In: Molecular aspects of medicine, 2023, vol. 92, p. 101190. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2023.101190
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0098-2997

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