Antibiotics boost risk of infection with antifungal-resistant candida

Previous exposure to certain antibiotics could boost the risk of infection with drug-resistant strains of a severe fungal infection. Researchers report their findings in the May 2012 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Candida species are frequent causes of hospital acquired infection. Patients at greatest risk are those with “prolonged hospitalization, abdominal surgery, antibiotic treatment, neutropenia, and central venous catheterization,” the researchers write. Candidemia leads to high rates of “attributable” mortality, longer hospitalizations, and “excessive costs.”

Ronen Ben-Ami of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel, and his colleagues identified 444 patients who had Candida growing in their blood; 8.5 percent of whom were infected with Candida strains that were resistant to fluconazole, an important antifungal used to treat this infection. For all 444 patients, the researchers obtained detailed histories of antibiotic exposure during the month prior to onset of candidemia. They found that previous exposure to four antibiotic drugs or drug classes increased the risk of infection with fluconazole-resistant Candida nearly three-fold.

“A striking feature of the current cohort of patients with candidemia is the almost universal exposure to antibacterial drugs in the preceding month,” the researchers write. “Moreover, the majority of patients received multiple classes of antibacterials, either concomitantly or sequentially.”

“Our findings underscore the importance of limiting the use of antibiotics to those situations where these drugs are strictly indicated,” says Ben-Ami. He further recommends that clinicians treating patients with candidemia should take the patient’s recent antibiotic exposure history into account when selecting the antifungal treatment. “Clinicians should be aware that patients who have recently been treated with certain antibiotics are at increased risk of infection with drug-resistant , which in turn could lead to treatment failure,” he says. “Previous research has shown that around one third of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary.”

More information: R. Ben-Ami, K. Olshtain-Pops, M. Giladi, et al. for the Israeli Candidemia Study Group, 2012. Antibiotic exposure as a risk factor for fluconazole-resistant Candida bnloodstream infection. Antim. Agents Chemother. 56:2518-2523.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists use frogs to battle superbugs

Mar 19, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nuclear scientists using frogs in a battle against superbugs might sound like some kind of 1980s computer game – but it’s actually scientific research underway right now.

Recommended for you

FDA OKs Cubist antibiotic for serious infections

Dec 20, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medicine to fight complex infections in the abdomen and urinary tract, the fourth antibiotic the agency has approved since May.

Xtoro approved for swimmer's ear

Dec 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—Xtoro (finafloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat swimmer's ear, clinically known as acute otitis externa.

Drug interaction identified for ondansetron, tramadol

Dec 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—In the early postoperative period, ondansetron is associated with increased requirements for tramadol consumption, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Dec. 10 in Anaesthesia.

New system targets germs in donated blood plasma

Dec 17, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new system designed to eliminate germs in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transmitting a plasma-borne infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.