Date: 02 Mar 2006

Exserohilum : an emerging human pathogen

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Abstract

Exserohilum is a dematiaceous fungus that may cause a spectrum of diseases in humans, including skin and corneal infection, invasive disease, and allergic fungal sinusitis. The aim of this work is to describe two new cases of Exserohilum infection and to review the literature. The review yielded 33 cases of Exserohilum infection, of which 23 were reported since 1993. Most occurred in regions with hot climates, such as India, Israel, and the southern USA. Impaired immunity was present in the majority of patients with invasive and skin infections, whereas local trauma and atopy were the predisposing factors in those with corneal infections and allergic fungal sinusitis, respectively. Surgical debridement was the principal mode of therapy for allergic fungal sinusitis. Amphotericin B was the initial single antifungal agent used in all cases of invasive disease; the response rate was low but improved with the addition of triazole agents. Outcome appeared to be better than for other mold infections and depended mainly on the underlying diseases.