Epidemiology of Rhodotorula: An Emerging Pathogen

Section of Infectious Diseases, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Ramiro Barcelos 2350, 90640-002 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases 10/2012; 2012(4):465717. DOI: 10.1155/2012/465717
Source: PubMed


This is an updated paper focusing on the general epidemiological aspects of Rhodotorula in humans, animals, and the environment. Previously considered nonpathogenic, Rhodotorula species have emerged as opportunistic pathogens that have the ability to colonise and infect susceptible patients. Rhodotorula species are ubiquitous saprophytic yeasts that can be recovered from many environmental sources. Several authors describe the isolation of this fungus from different ecosystems, including sites with unfavourable conditions. Compared to R. mucilaginosa, R. glutinis and R. minuta are less frequently isolated from natural environments. Among the few references to the pathogenicity of Rhodotorula spp. in animals, there are several reports of an outbreak of skin infections in chickens and sea animals and lung infections and otitis in sheep and cattle. Most of the cases of infection due to Rhodotorula in humans were fungemia associated with central venous catheter (CVC) use. The most common underlying diseases included solid and haematologic malignancies in patients who were receiving corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs, the presence of CVC, and the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Unlike fungemia, some of the other localised infections caused by Rhodotorula, including meningeal, skin, ocular, peritoneal, and prosthetic joint infections, are not necessarily linked to the use of CVCs or immunosuppression.

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    • "Drożdże z rodzaju Rhodotorula występują powszechnie w wodzie, glebie, powietrzu oraz na roślinach i zwierzętach. Do niedawna były postrzegane wyłącznie jako saprofity psujące żywność [Lewicka i in., 2009] czy też jako czynnik etiologiczny grzybic skórnych [Wirth i Goldani, 2012]. W ostatnich latach stwierdzono, że drożdże te są zdolne do syntezy wielu metabolitów o znaczeniu przemysłowym. "

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    • "Localized infections without fungemia, including endophthalmitis, onychomycosis , and prosthetic joint infections, have been reported in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals (Wirth and Goldani 2012). In the ARTEMIS surveillance project, Rhodotorula species were the fourth most common non-Candida yeast isolated from clinical specimens (Miceli et al. 2011), with R. mucilaginosa frequently reported as the most commonly involved species (Wirth and Goldani 2012). In a study in Brazil, the main risk factors associated with the development of Rhodotorula fungemia were (i) solid and haematologic malignancies in patients who were receiving corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs, (ii) the presence of central venous catheters, and (iii) the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics (Lunardi et al. 2006). "
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    • "and other fungi to form biofilms, which are generally highly resistant to conventional antifungal agents (Gomez-Lopez et al., 2005; Martinez & Fries, 2010; Nunes et al., 2013; Walraven & Lee, 2013). In combination, these observations have led to a growing view that food may be an underestimated source of environmental yeast pathogens and raised the disturbing possibility that the consumption of yeastinfected food could play a direct role in causing opportunistic infections (Wirth & Goldani, 2012). There is an urgent need for new antifungal compounds with novel mechanisms of action (Miceli et al., 2011), and major candidates to serve in this capacity, include photodynamic agents (Calzavara-Pinton et al., 2012; Harris & Pierpoint, 2012) and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) (Matejuk et al., 2010; Desbois et al., 2011; Wilmes et al., 2011; Mehra et al., 2012). "
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