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The mycological and molecular study of Hortaea werneckii isolated from blood and splenic abscess


Hortaea werneckii is an environmental dematiaceous fungus found in the halophilic environment. It causes tinea nigra. We report the isolation of H. werneckii from blood and splenic abscess of two patients with acute myelomonocytic leukaemia. H. werneckii grew at room temperature but not at 37 °C, it was identified by biochemical tests, growth characteristics and the presence of conspicuous collarette intercalary on dividing yeast cells. The use of specific oligonucleotide primer Hor-F (5′-TGGACACCTTCA TAACTCTTG-3′) and Hor-R (5′-TCACAACGCTTAGAGACGG-3′) confirmed the two isolates were H. werneckii. The sequence for 281 nucleotide of HW299 and HW403 were 99% identical but differed only in one nucleotide. In vitro anti-fungal susceptibility testing showed that the isolates were resistant to amphotericin B and flucytosine.

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Correspondence to K. P. Ng.

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Ng, K.P., Soo-Hoo, T.S., Na, S.L. et al. The mycological and molecular study of Hortaea werneckii isolated from blood and splenic abscess. Mycopathologia 159, 495–500 (2005).

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Key words

  • acute myeloid leukaemia
  • dematiaceous fungi
  • Hortaea werneckii
  • oligonucleotide primer
  • tinea nigra