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Keywords:

  • Anidulafungin;
  • candidaemia;
  • critically ill patients;
  • echinocandins;
  • invasive candidiasis

Clin Microbiol Infect 2011; 17 (Suppl. 1): 1–12

Abstract

Candidaemia/invasive candidiasis (C/IC) is the most frequently occurring invasive fungal infection worldwide, with a particularly strong impact and high incidence in the intensive-care unit, where there is a need for new treatment options and strategies. The echinocandin anidulafungin has broad in vitro activity against a wide range of Candida species, along with favourable pharmacokinetics that allow administration in hepatic and renal impairment and with any comedication without the need for dose adjustments. The efficacy and safety of anidulafungin for the treatment of C/IC were demonstrated in a number of clinical studies and by some limited data from clinical practice. In a randomized comparative trial for the treatment of C/IC in adults, 76% of patients receiving anidulafungin and 60% of those given fluconazole were treated successfully (95% CI for difference: 4–27; p 0.01). Post hoc analyses suggest that anidulafungin is significantly more effective than standard-dose fluconazole for the treatment of candidaemia in critically ill patients. Anidulafungin is generally well tolerated, with commonly reported side effects including headache, hypokalaemia, gastrointestinal symptoms, abnormal liver function test results, and rash. In pharmaco-economic analyses, anidulafungin compared favourably with fluconazole (in terms of overall costs and hospital resource use) as well as with other echinocandins. Echinocandins, including anidulafungin, are now generally recommended as first-line therapy in moderately to severely ill patients, those with prior azole exposure, and patients with C/IC caused by Candida glabrata or Candida krusei.