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Keywords:

  • Osteomyelitis;
  • joint infection;
  • Aspergillus ;
  • bone tissue;
  • voriconazole

Summary

Poor clinical outcome and complicated neurological complications illustrate the severity of bone and joint infections with Aspergillus species. Host predisposing conditions are immunosuppression, intravenous drug use, a variety of chronic underlying diseases and prior surgical interventions. Nosocomial infections may originate from contaminated air ventilation systems or water pipes. Most common causative pathogen is Aspergillus fumigatus, followed by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus nidulans. A. niger, A. tubingensis and A. terreus are rare but stress the need of targeted and adapted antimycotic therapy. Diagnosis has to be pursued by means of MRI imaging techniques and tissue specimens. Multimodal treatment strategy is based on a combination of surgical debridement of necrotic bone and cartilage and systemically active antifungal treatment. Voriconazole combines satisfactory systemic antifungal effect, high oral bioavailability and good bone penetration. Development of fungicidal cement spacers still continues and in vitro data show promising results of bioactive cements. Purpose of this review of literature published between 2002 and 2013 was to provide up-to-date information on pathogenesis, diagnostic approach and treatment recommendations. Properly established treatment guidelines and prophylaxis for patients at risk are required as the high mortality rate continues to pose a future challenge.