Impact of an antifungal stewardship programme in a tertiary respiratory medicine setting: A prospective real-world study.


Nwankwo L, Periselneris J, Cheong J, Thompson K, Darby P, Leaver N, Schelenz S, Armstrong-James D.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Jul 16. pii: AAC.00402-18.


There has been an increase in fungal infections in patients with chronic lung disease over the past decades, which is associated with rapidly increasing costs to healthcare systems.An antifungal stewardship team was introduced to a tertiary cardiopulmonary hospital, consisting of a medical mycologist and pharmacy support providing weekly stewardship ward rounds, twice monthly multidisciplinary team meetings and a dedicated weekly outpatient clinic. A database was set up to record the activity of the stewardship team.During the first eighteen months of implementation the antifungal stewardship team had reviewed 178 patients, with 285 recommendations made to inpatients, and 287 outpatient visits. The commonest diagnoses treated were allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Cystic fibrosis was the largest patient group treated followed by asthma and interstitial lung disease. There was a significant, sustained reduction in monthly antifungal expenditure (p=0.005) by £130,000 per month. There was also a significant reduction in antifungal use measured as Defined Daily Dose/100 bed days (p=0.017). There were no significant changes in expenditure on diagnostic tests. There has been a trend toward more patients having therapeutic levels of voriconazole (p=0.086) and a significant increase in therapeutic levels of posaconazole (p<0.0001).This study shows that an effective antifungal stewardship programme can significantly reduce expenditure in a specialist respiratory service.