Schizophyllum commune as an emerging fungal pathogen: a review and report of two cases


A. Chowdhary, Department of Medical Mycology, V. P. Chest Institute, University of Delhi, Delhi 110 007, India.
Tel.: +91 11 27667560. Fax: +91 11 27666549.


We report Schizophyllum commune as the aetiological agent of one case each of allergic broncho-pulmonary mycosis (ABPM) and pulmonary fungal ball, and present a literature review. The fungus was characterised by clamp connections, hyphal spicules, and formation of basidiocarps with basidiospores. The phenotypic identification was confirmed by sequencing of the ITS region. To-date, ABPM and pulmonary fungal ball to S. commune have been reported exclusively from Japan and North America respectively. Of the 71 globally reported cases due to S. commune, 45 (63%) were bronchopulmonary, 22 (31%) sinusitis and 4 extrapulmonary. Taken together, cases of bronchopulmonary disease and sinusitis numbered 67 (94%), indicating the respiratory tract as the primary target of disease. Concerning the country-wise distribution, Japan topped the list with 33 cases (46%), followed by Iran – 7 cases (10%), U.S.A. – 6 cases (9%), and a lower prevalence of 1.4–6% for the remaining 12 countries. The preponderance of the disease in Japan may be attributed to its greater awareness vis-à-vis that in other countries rather than to any geographical/climatic factors. We believe that the burden of S. commune-incited disease is currently underestimated, warranting comprehensive prospective studies to determine its prevalence.