Emerging issues with diagnosis and management of fungal infections in solid organ transplant recipients.

Author: 

Farmakiotis D, Kontoyiannis DP.
Am J Transplant. 2015 May;15(5):1141-7. doi: 10.1111/ajt.13186. Epub 2015 Feb 5.

Abstract: 

Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are being increasingly recognized in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients, and delayed diagnosis can lead to graft loss and death. Therefore, there is a low threshold for prophylaxis and early initiation of empiric antifungal treatment, in this patient population. Meanwhile, the increasing consumption of antifungals is associated with high cost, medication toxicities and the emergence of resistance in Candida species, all of which call for rational use of antifungal agents. The implementation of fungal biomarkers, molecular diagnostic methods and direct detection of volatile fungal metabolites in breath samples could lead to faster diagnosis, early appropriate treatment and improved clinical outcomes, but also aid in the de-escalation of antifungal treatment. Those novel diagnostic modalities need to be validated specifically in SOT recipients. Infectious diseases consultation can contribute to optimization of care through prompt initiation and appropriate modification of antifungal treatment, management of medication toxicities and drug-drug interactions, as well as source control. In this review, we conceptually summarize recent advances in the diagnosis and management of IFI in SOT recipients, and highlight the importance of early diagnostic tools and good stewardship of antifungal drugs.