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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-17

Fusarium: The versatile pathogen

Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anupma Jyoti Kindo
Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Porur, Chennai - 600 016, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_16_24

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Fusarium is an emerging human opportunistic pathogen of growing importance, especially among immunosuppressed haematology patients due to an increased incidence of disseminated infections over the past two decades. This trend is expected only to continue due to the advances in medical and surgical technologies that will prolong the lives of the severely ill, making these patients susceptible to rare opportunistic infections. Production of mycotoxins, enzymes such as proteases, angio-invasive property and an intrinsically resistant nature, makes this genus very difficult to treat. Fusarium is frequently isolated from the cornea and less commonly from nail, skin, blood, tissue, Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) fluid, urine and pleural fluid. Conventional microscopy establishes the genus, but accurate speciation requires multilocus sequence typing with housekeeping genes such as internal transcribed spacer, translation elongation factor-1α and RPB1 and 2 (largest and second largest subunits of RNA polymerase), for which expansive internet databases exist. Identifying pathogenic species is of epidemiological significance, and the treatment includes immune reconstitution by granulocyte–colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte macrophage–colony-stimulating factor and a combination of the most active species – specific antifungals, typically liposomal amphotericin-B and voriconazole. However, patient outcome is difficult to predict even with in vitro susceptibility with these drugs. Therefore, prevention methods and antifungal prophylaxis have to be taken seriously for these vulnerable patients by vigilant healthcare workers. The current available literature on PubMed and Google Scholar using search terms 'Fusarium', 'opportunistic invasive fungi' and 'invasive fusariosis' was summarised for this review.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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