Clinical practice update of antifungal prophylaxis in immunocompromised children

Rev Esp Quimioter. 2019 Oct;32(5):410-425. Epub 2019 Sep 11.


Due to the rise in the number and types of immunosuppressed patients, invasive fungal infections (IFI) are an increasing and major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised adults and children. There is a broad group of pediatric patients at risk for IFI in whom primary and/or secondary antifungal prophylaxis (AFP) should be considered despite scant evidence. Pediatric groups at risk for IFI includes extremely premature infants in some settings, while in high-risk children with cancer receiving chemotherapy or undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), AFP against yeast and moulds is usually recommended. For solid organ transplanted, children, prophylaxis depends on the type of transplant and associated risk factors. In children with primary or acquired immunodeficiency such as HIV or long-term immunosuppressive treatment, AFP depends on the type of immunodeficiency and the degree of immunosuppression. Chronic granulomatous disease is associated with a particular high-risk of IFI and anti-mould prophylaxis is always indicated. In contrast, AFP is not generally recommended in children with long stay in intensive care units. The choice of AFP is limited by the approval of antifungal agents in different age groups and by their pharmacokinetics characteristics. This document aims to review current available information on AFP in children and to provide a comprehensive proposal for each type of patient.

Las infecciones fúngicas invasoras (IFI) constituyen un problema creciente en adultos y niños inmunodeprimidos, acompañándose de una elevada morbimortalidad. El número de niños inmunodeprimidos va en aumento. Los grupos de riesgo de IFI en pediatría incluyen a los grandes prematuros, que se benefician de profilaxis con fluconazol, pacientes hemato-oncológicos sometidos a quimioterapia o trasplante de precursores hematopoyéticos con neutropenias prolongadas, en quienes la profilaxis frente a hongos filamentosos suele recomendarse en situaciones de alto riesgo. En niños sometidos a trasplante de órgano sólido, la profilaxis depende del tipo de trasplante y factores de riesgo asociados. En pacientes con inmunodeficiencias primarias o adquiridas como la infección VIH o tratamiento inmunosupresor prolongado, la profilaxis antifúngica dependerá del tipo de inmunodeficiencia primaria y del grado de inmunosupresión. La enfermedad granulomatosa crónica tiene riesgo particularmente elevado de IFI y requiere siempre profilaxis frente a hongos filamentosos. En cambio, en niños con ingresos prolongados en cuidados intensivos la profilaxis frente a IFI habitualmente no está indicada. El tipo de profilaxis está limitado por la diferente aprobación de antifún-gicos a distintas edades. Este documento pretende revisar la información actual disponible respecto a profilaxis antifúngica en niños, con propuesta para la estrategia más apropiada en cada tipo de paciente.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Candidiasis / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Drug Monitoring
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Invasive Fungal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / prevention & control
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention / methods*
  • Transplant Recipients


  • Antifungal Agents