Journal Article

<i>Candida lusitaniae</i>: A Cause of Breakthrough Fungemia in Cancer Patients

Afaf Minari, Ray Hachem and Issam Raad

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 32, issue 2, pages 186-190
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/318473
Candida lusitaniae: A Cause of Breakthrough Fungemia in Cancer Patients

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Candida lusitaniae is an infrequent cause of fungemia. We identified 12 cases of C. lusitaniae fungemia that occurred at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1988 to 1999. The mean age of patients was 48 years (range 20–70 years). Eight patients had hematologic malignancy or had received a bone marrow transplant, and 4 had a solid tumor. Most patients (75%) were neutropenic (<103/mm3). Treatment with amphotericin B alone failed for 3 of 6 patients, irrespective of neutropenic status. Fluconazole was effective as a single agent in 3 patients with solid tumors. The combination of amphotericin B plus fluconazole was effective treatment for two-thirds of patients with hematologic malignancy, despite persistence of neutropenia. The mortality rate associated with C. lusitaniae infection was 25%. C. lusitaniae presents as breakthrough fungemia in immunocompromised patients and is associated with failure of amphotericin B therapy. Fluconazole may be a useful agent in the treatment of this infection.

Journal Article.  3150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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