Penicillium marneffei Infection: An Emerging Disease in Mainland China
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Penicillium marneffei is an emerging pathogenic fungus that can cause a life-threatening systemic mycosis in immunocompromised hosts, especially in patients with AIDS. This infection is endemic in Southeast Asia. With the prevalence of AIDS in this area, the number of patients with systemic penicilliosis marneffei is found to be increasing rapidly in mainland China in recent years. We recently reviewed 668 cases of penicilliosis marneffei in mainland China from January 1984 to December 2009 in cnki, cqvip, CBMdisc and PubMed. We analyzed epidemiological and clinical features, laboratory findings, reaction to therapy and prognosis of the disease. We found that 99.4 % of the cases were reported in the southern part of China; among these cases, 42.8 % were from Guangxi (286 cases) and 40.6 % were from Guangdong province (271 cases). Five hundred and eighty-six cases (87.7 %) of penicilliosis marneffei were reported with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus, 25 cases (3.8 %) with other immunocompromised diseases, and 57 cases (8.5 %) without any documented underlying diseases. Fever, weight loss, anemia, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, respiratory signs and skin lesions were the common clinical manifestations of P. marneffei infections. The 569 cases received antifungal therapy with a mortality of 24.3 % (138 cases), 99 cases who had not received antifungal therapy had a mortality of 50.6 %. P. marneffei was an emerging pathogenic fungus and become a medical and public health importance in mainland China. The immunocompromised patients should pay more attention to P. marneffei infection in the endemic areas.