Antifungal susceptibility testing: practical aspects and current challenges

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2001 Oct;14(4):643-58, table of contents. doi: 10.1128/CMR.14.4.643-658.2001.


Development of standardized antifungal susceptibility testing methods has been the focus of intensive research for the last 15 years. Reference methods for yeasts (NCCLS M27-A) and molds (M38-P) are now available. The development of these methods provides researchers not only with standardized methods for testing but also with an understanding of the variables that affect interlaboratory reproducibility. With this knowledge, we have now moved into the phase of (i) demonstrating the clinical value (or lack thereof) of standardized methods, (ii) developing modifications to these reference methods that address specific problems, and (iii) developing reliable commercial test kits. Clinically relevant testing is now available for selected fungi and drugs: Candida spp. against fluconazole, itraconazole, flucytosine, and (perhaps) amphotericin B; Cryptococcus neoformans against (perhaps) fluconazole and amphotericin B; and Aspergillus spp. against (perhaps) itraconazole. Expanding the range of useful testing procedures is the current focus of research in this area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Candida / physiology
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / standards*
  • Mycoses / drug therapy
  • Mycoses / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents