Scedosporium apiospermum infection after near-drowning

Authors


Emmanuel Roilides, MD, PhD, Third Department of Pediatrics, Hippokration Hospital, Konstantinoupoleos 49, GR-546 42 Thessaloniki, Greece.
Tel.: +30 2310 892444. Fax: +30 2310 992983.
E-mail: roilides@med.auth.gr

Summary

Scedosporium apiospermum and its teleomorph (sexual form) Pseudallescheria boydii are ubiquitous saprophytic fungi, which under specific conditions, such as near-drowning, may cause therapy-refractory and life-threatening infections. We reviewed 22 cases (eight children and 14 adults) of S. apiospermum infection after near-drowning reported in the literature including an additional paediatric case from our institution. Scedosporiosis after near-drowning was associated with high mortality (16/23, 70%) even in immunocompetent hosts. It affected mainly young (mean age 24 years) and immunocompetent (83% with no apparent immune defect) males (male to female ratio 2.5 : 1). Scedosporiosis after near-drowning was a slow progressive disease (mean survival time 87 days) involving virtually all body organs. However, central nervous system (CNS) dissemination predominated (21/23, 91%) presenting mainly as multiple brain abscesses (15/23, 65%). All 23 patients showed preceding clinical and/or radiological evidence of lung disease indicating the mode of invasion. Diagnosis was delayed (median time to diagnosis 28 days) and was made by culture (16/23, 69.5%) or culture and tissue examination (7/23, 30.5%). The majority of the patients (20/23, 87%) received antifungal treatment and underwent neurosurgery. While the optimal treatment remains undefined, the most recent reports indicated voriconazole as a potentially effective option. Better knowledge of scedosporiosis after near-drowning could lead to improved intervention and ultimately to more favourable outcome.

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