The study aimed to identify targets for quality improvement in antifungal use in European hospitals and determine the variability of such prescribing. Hospitals that participated in the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Point Prevalence Surveys (ESAC-PPS) were included. The WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification for 'antimycotics for systemic use' (J02) 2009 version was used. Demographic data and information about indications and diagnoses were collected in 2008 and 2009. From 99,053 patients, 29,324 (29.6%) received antimicrobials. Antifungals represented 1529 of 40,878 (3.7%) antimicrobials. Antifungals were mainly (54.2%) administered orally. Hospital-acquired infections represented 44.5% of indications for antifungals followed by medical prophylaxis at 31.2%. The site of infection was not defined in 36.0% of cases but the most commonly targeted sites were respiratory (19.2%) and gastrointestinal (18.8%). The most used antifungal was fluconazole (60.5%) followed by caspofungin (10.5%). Antifungal-antibacterial combinations were frequently used (77.5%). The predominance of fluconazole use in participating hospitals could result in an increase in prevalence of inherently resistant fungi, increasing the need for newer antifungals. Although acknowledging that antifungal prophylaxis in the immunocompromised host needs further exploration, repetitive surveys using ESAC-PPS methodology may help to monitor the effects of interventions set to regulate antifungal use.
© 2012 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2012 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.