Clinicians’ Challenges in Managing Patients with Invasive Fungal Diseases in Seven Asian Countries: An Asia Fungal Working Group (AFWG) Survey.

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Clinicians' Challenges in Managing Patients with Invasive Fungal Diseases in Seven Asian Countries: An Asia Fungal Working Group (AFWG) Survey.

Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 13;:

Authors: Tan BH, Chakrabarti A, Patel A, Chua MMM, Sun PL, Liu Z, Rotjanapan P, Li R, Wahyuningsih R, Chayakulkeeree M, Chen YC, Asia Fungal Working Group (AFWG)

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Invasive fungal diseases (IFD) are a serious threat, but physicians in Asia lack access to many advanced diagnostics in mycology. It is likely that they face other impediments in the management of IFD. A gap analysis was performed to understand the challenges Asian physicians faced in medical mycology.
METHODS: The Asia Fungal Working Group (AFWG) conducted a web-based survey on management practices for IFD among clinicians in China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
FINDINGS: Among 292 respondents, 51.7% were infectious disease (ID) specialists. Only 37% of respondents had received formal training in medical mycology. They handled only around 2-4 proven cases of each fungal infection monthly, with invasive candidiasis the most common. For laboratory support, the majority had access to direct microscopy (96%) and histopathology (87%), but galactomannan and azole levels were available to 60% and 25% of respondents, respectively. The majority (84%) used clinical parameters for treatment response monitoring, and 77% followed the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines. The majority (84%) did not use the services of an ID physician. Where febrile neutropenia was concerned, 74% of respondents used the empirical approach. Only 30% had an antifungal stewardship program in their hospital. Eighty percent could not use preferred antifungals because of cost.
INTERPRETATION: The survey identified inadequacies in medical mycology training, non-culture diagnostics, access to antifungal drugs, and local guidelines as the major gaps in the management of IFDs in Asian countries. These gaps are targets for improvement.

PMID: 31945491 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]