The increasing incidence of invasive mould infections in bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients stems, in part, from the prolonged use of systemic glucocorticoids, according to the results of a retrospective study.
Invasive mould infection is a devastating disease in transplant recipients. In this small study, involving 94 adults patients who underwent BMT, scientists from the University of Alabama attempted to identify the cause of these fungal infections.
Sixteen per cent of those studied developed invasive mould infections during the two year study period. Two thirds of the infected patients had received antifungals just in case usually systemic steroid therapy.
After factoring in other potential risk factors, only steroid use remained as a significant cause of the mould infections.
During the study, the occurrence of mould infection increased the risk of death after BMT from 47 per cent to 100 per cent. Average survival after diagnosis of invasive mould infection was only 15 days (Clin Infect Dis, 2001; 32: 1319-24).