Mucormycosis: modern diagnostics and treatment, existing problems and new trends in antifungal therapy

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2021; 23(3):226-238



Over the last decade, the introduction of new antifungal drugs and diagnostic procedures has improved the prognosis of hematological patients with invasive fungal disease (IFD), primarily invasive aspergillosis. Despite effective antifungal prophylaxis against the most common IFD caused by Aspergillus spp., rates of IFD due to rare pathogens being resistant to most antifungal drugs, including mucormycosis have been increased. The main group of patients having a high risk of mucormycosis is deeply immunocompromised patients who received chemotherapy for acute leukemia, patients undergoing allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, or treated with corticosteroids for graft-versushost disease. Currently, the urgency of this complication is significantly higher due to COVID-19 pandemic and extensive use of corticosteroids for the treatment of COVID-19. Despite the fact that the criteria for the diagnosis of IFD EORTC/MSG 2008 and 2020 have been developed and implemented into practice in most countries, mucormycosis still remains a difficult-to-diagnose IFD, where the factor of rapid diagnosis is a main factor of treatment success. Medications available for the treatment of IFD include polyenes, triazoles, and echinocandins. For a long time, the drug of choice for the treatment of mucormycosis was liposomal amphotericin B. However, a new effective drug has been approved for the treatment of both mucormycosis and IFD, caused by multiple pathogens – isavuconazole. This review presents new data on the epidemiology of mucormycosis, diagnosis approaches and current international treatment guidelines.

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