Epidemiological changes with potential implication for antifungal prescription recommendations for fungaemia: data from a nationwide fungaemia surveillance programme


Corresponding author: M. C. Arendrup, Head of Unit of Mycology, Department of Microbiological Surveillance and Research 43/317, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen, Denmark

E-mail: maca@ssi.dk


Significant changes in the management of fungaemia have occurred over the last decade with increased use of fluconazole prophylaxis, of empirical treatment and of echinocandins as first-line agents for documented disease. These changes may impact the epidemiology of fungaemia. We present nationwide data for Denmark from 2010 to 2011. A total of 1081 isolates from 1047 episodes were recorded in 995 patients. The numbers of patients, episodes and recovered isolates increased by 13.1%, 14.5% and 14.1%, respectively, from 2010 to 2011. The incidence rate was significantly higher in 2011 (10.05/100 000) than in 2010 (8.82/100 000), but remained constant in the age groups 0–79 years. The incidence rate was highest at the extremes of age and in males. Candida albicans accounted for 52.1% but declined during 2004–11 (p 0.0155). Candida glabrata accounted for 28% and increased during 2004–2011 (p <0.0001). Candida krusei, Candida tropicalis and Candida parapsilosis remained rare (3.3–4.2%). The species distribution changed with increasing age (fewer C. parapsilosis and more C. glabrata) and by study centre. Overall, the susceptibility rates were: amphotericin B 97.3%, anidulafungin 93.8%, fluconazole 66.7%, itraconazole 69.6%, posaconazole 64.2% and voriconazole 85.0%. Acquired echinocandin resistance was molecularly confirmed in three isolates. The use of systemic antifungals doubled over the last decade (2002–2011) (from 717 000 to 1 450 000 defined daily doses/year) of which the vast majority (96.9%) were azoles. The incidence of fungaemia continues to increase in Denmark and is associated with a decreasing proportion being susceptible to fluconazole. Changes in demography, higher incidence in the elderly and higher antifungal consumption can at least in part explain the changes.