Infections of the central nervous system by melanized fungi: a review of cases presented between 1999 and 2004

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
Mycoses (Impact Factor: 1.81). 03/2004; 47(1-2):4-13. DOI: 10.1046/j.1439-0507.2003.00956.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Several types of infections of the central nervous system by melanized fungi can be distinguished: (a) single-organ infection of the cerebrum, (b) extension into the cerebrum from adjacent cavities, (c) fungal presence in the cerebrospinal fluid, or (d) meningitis. The fungal order Chaetothyriales (containing Exophiala-like black yeasts and relatives) is particularly rich in fungi causing cerebral infections. Cases by the main agents, Cladophialophora bantiana, Exophiala dermatitidis, and Ramichloridium mackenziei, published during the last 5 years are reviewed. Most of these infections prove to be fatal. Resection of the lesions in combination with antimycotic therapy may reduce mortality.

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    ABSTRACT: A review is given of melanized fungi involved in human infection, including species forming budding cells and strictly filamentous representatives. Classically, they are known as "phaeoid" or "dematiaceous" fungi, and, today, agents are recognized to belong to seven orders of fungi, of which the Chaetothyriales and Pleosporales are the most important. Infections range from cutaneous or pulmonary colonization to systemic or disseminated invasion. Subcutaneous involvement, either primary or after dissemination, may lead to host tissue proliferation of dermis or epidermis. Particularly in the Chaetothyriales, subcutaneous and systemic infections may occur in otherwise apparently healthy individuals. Infections are mostly chronic and require extended antifungal therapy and/or surgery.
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