Rhodotorula glutinis meningitis: a case report and review of literature



Rhodotorula is ubiquitous saprophytic yeast belonging to phylum Basidiomycota. These encapsulated basidiomycetes are being increasingly recognised as important emerging human pathogens. There are scanty reports of meningitis caused by Rhodurorula spp in HIV infected patients. We present one such case of meningitis by Rhodutorula glutinis in HIV-infected patient. The patient also had a past history of abdominal tuberculosis. The diagnosis of Rhodotorula was confirmed by Gram staining and culture of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Contamination was ruled out by repeated culturing of CSF from the same patient. Therapy with Amphotericin B showed good results. Patient was discharged from the hospital. However, in the seventh month of follow-up patient was readmitted with complaints of fever, breathlessness, altered sensorium, vomiting and succumbed to his illness. This time the CSF cultures remained negative for Rhodotorula, acid fast bacilli and other pyogenic organisms. Our last 11-year retrospective analysis of 8197 specimens received for mycological work-up showed that this is the first report of R. glutinis isolation from our institute.