Developing best practice for fungal specimen submission - fungal audit of general practice
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to investigate the management of suspected fungal nail infections by general practitioners (GPs) and determine whether guidance is sought when submitting specimens for investigation or treating cases. Questionnaires were sent to all GPs (n = 2420) served by five Health Protection Agency (HPA) collaborating laboratories in the South West of England. A total of 769 GPs responded - topical and oral antifungals were never used by 29% and 16% of GPs respectively. When antifungals were prescribed, topicals were normally given because of the severity of infection (32%); Amorolofine (53%) was the preferred choice. Oral antifungals were most often prescribed after receipt of a laboratory report (77%); Terbinafine was the preferred choice (86%). Seventy percent of GPs would only treat a suspected nail infection with oral antifungals after sending a sample for investigation, yet 27% never waited for a microscopy report before prescribing oral antifungal treatment. GPs routinely send specimens from suspected fungal nail infections for microbiological investigation, yet treatment is often prescribed before a result is received. With clinical signs of fungal infections often non-specific, GPs should rely on laboratory results before prescribing expensive and lengthy antifungal treatments. Laboratories could further reduce antifungal use by including guidance on microscopy and culture reports.
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ABSTRACT: Fungal infections of the skin, hair, and nails are common worldwide, and their incidence continues to increase. The principal causative agents are dermatophytes, and their geographic distribution is variable. This is reflected in the differing patterns of dermatophytoses seen in different parts of the world. The epidemiology of dermatophyte infection has changed as a result of migration, lifestyle, drug therapy, and socioeconomic conditions. This contribution discusses global patterns of dermatophyte infection and the changing epidemiology of the causative agents.Clinics in dermatology 03/2010; 28(2):197-201. DOI:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2009.12.005 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adult patients who presented to an urban emergency room complaining of a sore throat had cultures and clinical information recorded. Models were constructed, using logistic regression analysis, of both a positive culture for Group A beta streptococcus and a positive guess by a resident. The model of a positive culture consisted of four variables--tonsillar exudates, swollen tender anterior cervical nodes, lack of a cough, and history of fever. Patients with all 4 variables had a 56% probability of a positive culture; 3 variables, 32%; 2 variables, 15%; 1 variable, 6.5%; and 0 variables, 2.5%. The model of a positive guess by a resident demonstrated an over-reliance on physical exam and an underuse of history. The model of a positive culture allows stratification of patients to assist clinicians in the management strategies.Medical Decision Making 02/1981; 1(3):239-46. DOI:10.1177/0272989X8100100304 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We estimated the absolute risks of treatment termination and incidence of adverse liver outcomes among all commonly used oral antifungal treatments for superficial dermatophytosis and onychomycosis. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched to identify randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials, case series, and cohort studies published before December 31, 2005. Two reviewers independently applied selection criteria, performed quality assessment, and extracted data. Treatment arms with the same regimen in terms of drug, type (continuous or intermittent), and dosage were combined to estimate the risk of an outcome of interest. We identified 122 studies with approximately 20,000 enrolled patients for planned comparison. The pooled risks (95% confidence intervals) of treatment discontinuation resulting from adverse reactions for continuous therapy were 3.44% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.28%-4.61%) for terbinafine 250 mg/day; 1.96% (95% CI, 0.35%-3.57%) for itraconazole 100 mg/day; 4.21% (95% CI, 2.33%-6.09%) for itraconazole 200 mg/day; and 1.51% (95% CI, 0%-4.01%) for fluconazole 50 mg/day. For intermittent therapy, the pooled risks were as follows: pulse terbinafine: 2.09% (95% CI, 0%-4.42%); pulse itraconazole: 2.58% (95% CI, 1.15%-4.01%); intermittent fluconazole 150 mg/week: 1.98% (95% CI, 0.05%-3.92%); and intermittent fluconazole 300 to 450 mg/week: 5.76% (95% CI, 2.42%-9.10%). The risk of liver injury requiring termination of treatment ranged from 0.11% (continuous itraconazole 100 mg/day) to 1.22% (continuous fluconazole 50 mg/day). The risk of having asymptomatic elevation of serum transaminase but not requiring treatment discontinuation was less than 2.0% for all treatment regimens evaluated. Oral antifungal therapy against superficial dermatophytosis and onychomycosis, including intermittent and continuous terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole, was associated with a low incidence of adverse events in an immunocompetent population.The American journal of medicine 10/2007; 120(9):791-8. DOI:10.1016/j.amjmed.2007.03.021 · 5.30 Impact Factor