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Just as antibacterial stewardship (ABS) looks to ensure the appropriate use of antibiotics, AFS guides the use of antifungals in invasive fungal infections, to reduce unnecessary exposure and consumption while maintaining or improving outcomes.1
Resistance to antifungal drugs is not yet as common as that seen with antibacterial drugs, but it is a real clinical threat that requires shared action.2 By working together, we can shape the future. Optimising prevention and treatment is particularly important due to the high mortality associated with these infections, challenges in diagnosis, and the complexity of the drugs and patient groups involved.1,2 Implementing AFS tactics can help ensure that the right patients receive the right therapy at the right time. Let’s take the lead on antifungal stewardship.
The burden of invasive fungal infections continues to grow, with increases in at-risk populations and incidence and no let-up in mortality rates.1,3–5
There is currently no national consensus on AFS strategy,1 but a few simple initiatives can help Trusts to set up their own AFS programmes and put principles into practice. This could include creating a multi-disciplinary AFS team and conducting regular audits on antifungal usage. By taking steps like these, we have the opportunity to shape the future of antifungal stewardship.
a. For each fungal condition, the study considered which populations were most at risk, sought published estimates for incidence or prevalence measures for the fungal condition in these specific risk populations, and applied these rates to available published estimates of size of these high-risk populations in the UK (or certain countries within the UK where UK estimates were not available). Only the estimates for invasive aspergillosis explicitly included critical care patients.3
ABS, antibacterial stewardship; AFS, antifungal stewardship; AMS, antimicrobial stewardship; CQUIN, Commissioning for Quality and Innovation; NHS, National Health Service.
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PP-PFE-GBR-3863. November 2021