Early recognition of aspergillosis

Today patients with life-threatening underlying diseases (acute leukaemia, bone marrow transplantation/BMT) and impaired immunologic status have a higher life expectancy. Concomitantly, invasive aspergillosis (IA), a severe fungal infection, has emerged as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in departments of haemato-oncology and transplantation-medicine. Since aspergillosis spreads rapidly to other organs with lethal consequences it is important to react quickly to the first clinical infestations of the infection.

The aim of the project was to provide information on available evidence for the effectivness of different strategies to prevent IA as well as of diagnosing and treating IA effectively.

Since an ever increasing number of patients (with tumours or undergoing transplantation) receive immunosuppressive therapies, the incidence of IA has considerably increased and will increase in the future. To a certain degree, IA has to be accepted as a consequence of hi-tech medicine. Since IA spreads rapidly, with lethal consequences, the main focus of interventions must be the prevention of IA: The elimination of the fungus in the immunosuppressed patients' environment. An early diagnosis and treatment strategy must define which therapy-approach - prophylactic, empirical or pre-emptive - is taken. A strategy plan must state medication, beginning and dose level of therapy, point of time to change medication etc.

The assessment is only available in German.

11/2000 - 06/2001