Treatment of invasive candidiasis with echinocandins


Dr. med. Andreas Glöckner, Neurologisches Rehabilitationszentrum Greifswald, Karl-Liebknecht-Ring 26A, 17491 Greifswald, Germany.
Tel.: +49 3834 871231. Fax: +49 3834 871226.


Blood stream infections by Candida spp. represent the majority of invasive fungal infections in intensive care patients. The high crude mortality of invasive candidiasis remained essentially unchanged during the last two decades despite new treatment options that became available. The echinocandins, the latest class of antifungals introduced since 2001, exhibit potent activity against clinically relevant fungi including most Candida spp. In several randomised multicentre phase III trials, anidulafungin, caspofungin and micafungin showed convincing efficacy when compared with standard treatment regimens. In all trials, echinocandins were at least non-inferior to standard treatments. Anidulafungin was shown to be superior to fluconazole. Echinocandins have a favourable tolerability profile and exhibit a minimal potential for drug interactions since their pharmacokinetics is independent of renal and – largely – hepatic function. As a result of these properties, echinocandins are appropriate drugs of choice for invasive candidiasis in intensive care where many patients experience organ failure and receive multiple drugs with complex interactions.