Current approaches to diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections in children infected with human immuno deficiency virus

F. M.C. Müller, A. H. Groll, T. J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The prolonged survival of profoundly immunocompromised patients has revealed mucosal and invasive fungal infections to be major causes of morbidity and mortality in advanced HIV disease in children of all age groups. Antifungal resistance has become a clinically relevant problem. Paediatricians caring for HIV-infected children need to be aware of these increasingly frequent and often life-threatening infectious complications. This article reviews what is currently known about epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment of mucosal and invasive fungal infections in children and adolescents with HIV disease. Candida spp. have become a leading bloodstream isolate in hospitalised patients; mucosal candidiasis is the most prevalent opportunistic infection in HIV-infected patients, and in both invasive and superficial infections, non Candida albicans spp. are on the increase. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis has surfaced as an HIV-associated complication and previously uncommon fungi are more frequently encountered. HIV-infected individuals are particularly susceptible to Peumocystis carinii, Cryptococcus neoformans and infections by endemic fungi, such as Histoplasma capsulatum, Coccidioides immitis, Penicillium marneffei, and others. Newer immunological and molecular-based methods provide early and rapid diagnosis and monitoring. Potent and broad- spectrum third generation triazoles and novel fungicidal lipopeptides of the echinocandin class of antifungal antibiotics have entered clinical trials. Immunmodulation by recombinant cytokines and antifungal vaccines are very actively pursued inroads to adjunctive and preventive immunotherapy. Conclusion Mucosal and invasive fungal refections will remain important complications in HIV-infected children of all age groups. Interventional studies and well documented case series are needed to improve the molecular diagnosis, treatment and prevention of invasive fungal infections in the paediatric HIV-infected population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Antifungals
  • Dimorphic fungi
  • Molecular diagnosis
  • Mucosal and invasive fungal infections
  • Yeasts and filamentous fungi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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