LIFE THREATENING INFECTIONS FROM FUSARIUM VERTICILLIOIDES

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  Fusarium are common molds (fungi) which often grow on soil, plant, stored grains and other food/feedstuffs. 
 

SP Georgiadou et al. Cluster of Fusarium verticillioides bloodstream infections among immunocompotent patients in an internal medicine department after reconstruction works in Larissa, central Greece. Journal of Hospital Infection, 2014; In Press.

It has long been known that Fusarium can cause life threatening invasive infections in persons with severe immune problems such as patients with HIV, severe burns, severe malnutrition, certain forms of cancer like leukemia and lymphoma, and organ/bone transplant patients on immune suppressing drugs. However, it has not been appreciated until recently that Fusarium can also cause severe infections in persons with apparently intact immune systems.

A case series was presented of 7 patients who developed severe Fusarium verticillioides infections in a one month period in a single Greek hospital undergoing renovation. The 7 patients were all men, aged 63 to 86 years, and none of them had any obvious causes for a compromised immune system. (Except for one patient who may have been somewhat immunocompromised by taking methylprednisolone). Four of the 7 Fusarium verticilloides patients died. Rigorous environmental controls are needed to prevent serious mold infections during hospital renovation.

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