Oesophageal candidiasis is frequently one of the first signs of HIV infection, and a marker of HIV disease. Approximately 10% of patients with AIDS or other immunodeficiency, whether due to an underlying disease, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, will experience oesophageal candidiasis during their lifetime. In addition, unless the underlying immunodeficiency is corrected, approximately 60% of patients will experience a relapse within 6 months of the initial infection. The systemic azoles have gradually replaced the use of amphotericin B for oesophageal candidiasis, and are generally safely used and effective agents for this infection. A concern in some of these patients is the appearance of antifungal-refractory oesophageal candidiasis, which frequently leads to a vicious cycle of poor oral intake, weight loss, malnutrition and wasting syndrome, with occasional mortality due to malnutrition. Newer antifungals such as voriconazole and caspofungin, which are more potent in vitro and have a broader spectrum of activity, including activity against fluconazole-resistant Candida species are a welcome addition to the antifungal armamentarium that may be used in the management of refractory mucosal candidiasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)