Fungemia due to Rhodotorula mucilaginosa after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Transplant Infectious Disease (Impact Factor: 2.06). 04/2011; 14(1):91-4. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3062.2011.00647.x
Source: PubMed


Rhodotorula species have been increasingly recognized as emerging pathogens, particularly in immunocompromised patients. We herein report on a patient with myelodysplastic syndrome who developed fungemia due to Rhodotorula mucilaginosa after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from an unrelated donor. He developed severe acute graft-versus-host disease requiring high-dose steroids, and had serially been administered fluconazole and micafungin for the prophylaxis of fungal infection. Although several cases of Rhodotorula infection after HSCT have been reported, all of them were recipients of autologous HSCT, not allogeneic HSCT. A review of all the reported cases of Rhodotorula infection after HSCT revealed that all patients had received fluconazole or echinocandins before the onset of infection. The findings suggest that Rhodotorula species could be causative yeasts, particularly in patients receiving fluconazole or echinocandins, both of which are inactive against the species.

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    ABSTRACT: Rhodotorula species are commensal yeasts that have emerged as a cause of life-threatening fungemia in severely immunocompromised patients. A case of Rhodotorula mucilaginosa fungemia in a 48-year-old woman that had undergone consecutive abdominal surgeries due to ovarian cancer and bowel necrosis while she was receiving fluconazole prophylaxis is presented. Several risk factors were identified such as presence of central venous catheters, solid organ neoplasm, abdominal surgery and administration of antibiotics. Identification was performed using commercial systems. The yeast was resistant to fluconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole and to echinocandins, whereas MIC to amphotericin B was 1.5 mg/L. Furthermore, published cases of Rhodotorula spp fungemia during the last decade are reviewed. In conclusion, Rhodotorula spp must be considered a potential pathogen in patients with immunosupression and central venous catheters. Correct identification is mandatory for appropriate management, as Rhodotorula spp are resistant to antifungal agents, such as fluconazole and echinocandins.
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