Epidemiology of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised children; an Australian national 10-year review

Adam W. Bartlett, Megan P. Cann, Daniel K. Yeoh, Anne Bernard, Anne L. Ryan, Christopher C. Blyth, Rishi S. Kotecha, Brendan J. McMullan, Andrew S. Moore, Gabrielle M. Haeusler, Julia E. Clark

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Background: A thorough understanding of local and contemporary invasive fungal infection (IFI) epidemiology in immunocompromised children is required to provide a rationale for targeted prevention and treatment strategies. Methods: Retrospective data over 10 years from four tertiary pediatric oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) units across Australia were analyzed to report demographic, clinical, and mycological characteristics of IFI episodes, and crude IFI prevalence in select oncology/HSCT groups. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses were used to calculate 180-day overall survival. Results: A total of 337 IFI episodes occurred in 320 children, of which 149 (44.2%), 51 (15.1%), and 110 (32.6%) met a modified European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (mEORTC) criteria for proven, probable, and possible IFI, respectively. There were a further 27 (8.0%) that met a “modified possible IFI” criteria. Median age at IFI diagnosis was 8.4 years. Crude mEORTC IFI prevalence in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, solid tumor, and allogeneic HSCT cohorts was 10.6%, 28.2%, 4.4%, and 11.7%, respectively. Non-Aspergillus species represented 48/102 (47.1%) molds identified, and non-albicans Candida represented 66/93 (71.0%) yeasts identified. There were 56 deaths among 297 children who met mEORTC criteria, with 180-day overall survival for proven, probable, and possible IFIs of 79.7%, 76.2%, and 84.4%, respectively. Conclusion: Non-Aspergillus molds and non-albicans Candida contributed substantially to pediatric IFI in our study, with high IFI prevalence in leukemia and allogeneic HSCT cohorts. Inclusion of IFIs outside of European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer criteria revealed an IFI burden that would go otherwise unrecognized in published reports.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27564
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


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