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Successful treatment of Aureobasidium pullulans central catheter-related fungemia and septic pulmonary emboli.

  • Author(s): Mehta, Sanjay R;
  • Johns, Scott;
  • Stark, Paul;
  • Fierer, Joshua
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction

Aureobasidium pullulans is a saprophytic fungus that is widely distributed in the environment, and in the right host can be an opportunistic human pathogen.

Presentation of case

A 66-year-old man with Crohn's disease with a single kidney, and requiring total parenteral nutrition via a Hickman catheter, was admitted with a 10-week history of progressive shortness of breath, fevers and weight loss. Chest imaging demonstrated new multifocal lung parenchymal opacities compatible with septic pulmonary emboli. Blood culture grew a yeast-like organism that transformed into a black mold on subculture, eventually identified as A. pullulans. Due to triazole resistance, the patient was treated with liposomal amphotericin and micafungin. Serum (1,3)-β-d-glucan level was used to monitor therapy, initially measured at >500 pg/mL and decreasing to 66 pg/mL after one year of therapy.

Discussion

We describe the successful treatment of a case of catheter related fungemia and septic pulmonary emboli due A. pullulans. While initially appearing as an oval yeast on blood culture, subsequent growth as a black mold led to identification of the fungus as A. pullulans. The infection was cured with a combination of antifungal agents, even though the foreign body could not be safely removed. Nephrotoxicity required dosing adjustment of the amphotericin to biweekly during the maintenance phase of treatment. The serum (1,3)-β-d-glucan level proved to be useful in monitoring response to therapy.

Conclusion

We report here successful treatment of a disseminated A. pullulans infection with an induction and maintenance approach to liposomal amphotericin dosing, and monitoring response to therapy with serum (1,3)-β-d-glucan levels.

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