Candida and Aspergillus infections in immunocompromised patients: an overview

Rev Infect Dis. 1991 May-Jun;13(3):487-92. doi: 10.1093/clinids/13.3.487.


Infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in granulocytopenic patients. With the increasing use of aggressive chemotherapy causing prolonged granulocytopenia in patients with cancer, the risk of disseminated fungal infection has increased. Although Candida and Aspergillus species are known to be the most common fungal pathogens responsible for disseminated infection, diagnosis of such infection may be difficult. The use of empiric amphotericin B for presumed disseminated candida infection may reduce morbidity caused by this fungal pathogen; moreover, amphotericin B remains the agent of choice for established candida infection, although fluconazole shows promise. The addition of flucytosine may enhance the efficacy of amphotericin B against Candida. Aspergillus infection is more difficult to treat. Early recognition of invasive aspergillosis and use of high-dose amphotericin B (1.0-1.5 mg/[kg.d]) alone or in combination with flucytosine may reduce associated mortality. More active, less toxic antifungal agents are needed to improve the efficacy of treatment and prophylaxis of disseminated fungal infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agranulocytosis / complications*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / etiology*
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*