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Invasive fusariosis in São Paulo (Brazil) haematology ward linked to isolates circulating in the air

October 17 2018

In Brazil, Fusarium is the leading cause of invasive fungal infections, with an overall incidence of 6 cases per 1,000 haematopoietic stem cell transplants, and a mortality rate than may exceed 75%. However, fusariosis is relatively neglected when compared to invasive aspergillosis or candidiasis. A previous study in Texas (USA) by Raad et al (2018) found that seasonal clustering of fusariosis cases coincided with a peak in Fusarium spore counts during rainy summers, but information about the sources of infection are unfortunately lacking and these species may not be included in hospital surveillance.

Dr Maria Luiza Moretti and colleagues recently reported an increased incidence of fusariosis at the Clinical Hospital of the University of Campinas in São Paulo (Brazil). Indoor air sampling for Fusarium recovered 76 isolates from the haematology ward (uncontrolled airflow) and 28 from the BMT unit (laminar airflow) over the course of one year. Another 18 isolates were recovered from blood cultures.

Clonal origin analysis (MSLT) based on partial sequencing of four genes (TEF1α, rDNA, RPB1, RPB2) was used to classify all the isolates into 13 sequence types. Five clinical isolates of F. petroliphilum and one of F. napiforme belonged to sequence types that were also found in the air samples. This contrasts with the earlier Raad et al study, which suggested community acquisition.

Read the full paper: Moretti et al (2018) Airborne transmission of invasive fusariosis in patients with hematologic malignancies. PLoS One. 2018 Apr 26;13(4):e0196426

Species groups of Fusarium recovered from hospital wards in São Paulo